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Women's soccer defeats Brown 3-2 in overtime. Credit: Frances Hu

For the Penn women’s soccer team, it’s certainly better late than never.

In a dramatic overtime finish, the Quakers managed to rally from a second-half deficit to defeat Brown, 3-2, on Saturday evening. The victory, sparked by junior forward Marin McDermott’s two-goal performance, put the squad in prime position to earn its second-ever outright Ivy League title.

With just one game remaining in the season, Penn’s fate rests solely in its own hands. After a Columbia loss to Yale this past weekend, Penn (9-6-1, 4-1-1 Ivy) stands alone at the top of the Ancient Eight.

The Quakers’ road to the championship is simple: win (or tie) and they’re in.

Despite the Red and Blue’s enviable position, coach Darren Ambrose said that his players must keep things in perspective before a pivotal final game at second-place Princeton (9-6-0, 4-2-0) on Saturday.

“We’re only able to worry about one team, and that’s our own,” Ambrose said. “Win and it’s ours. Beyond that, we can’t control anything else.”

Down 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining in the second half, senior midfielder Sarah Friedman placed a free kick near Brown’s goal, enabling McDermott to break free from a defender and put a header into the back of the net.

Fast forward 2:01 into overtime, and McDermott was once again at the center of the action.

This time, though, it was the forward’s assist to junior defender Ursula Lopez-Palm that sealed the deal for Penn and handed Brown (5-0-4, 1-3-2) its third conference defeat.

“We were so fired up going into today,” McDermott said. “We feel like we need to win this for our seniors, for our alumni, for our fans.”

It was a night full of emotion for the Quakers — and not just because of the game’s outcome.

The team’s collection of seniors, which, in addition to Friedman, includes defender Kaitlin Campbell, midfielder Marisa Schoen and forward Kristin Kaiser, were recognized prior to the start of the game with flowers from family and friends as part of senior night festivities.

For these “core four,” a victory on Saturday would bring their Penn soccer careers full circle.

“They’ve been an important part of the team since we won the Ivy League [during their freshman year] in 2007, and they’re a big reason why we’re here now,” Ambrose said. “I’d love for them to be able to do it again this time around.”

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