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Women Soccer team defeated Columbia 1-0 Credit: Joshua Ng , Joshua Ng


If anyone had any questions about the Quakers offense this season, the team has provided an emphatic answer.

This weekend marked two all-around dominant performances for the Penn women’s soccer team, defeating both St. Peter’s (0-3) and Mount St. Mary’s (1-5), each by the score of 4-0. Both games featured much offensive production, strong midfield play and stalwart defense.

Friday night’s game against St. Peter’s featured a Red and Blue team that completely overmatched their opponent. After many opportunities in the first half to take the lead and coming just short, the Red and Blue broke through in the 25th minute of play, with a goal from senior Kathryn Barth on an assist from senior Kerry Scalora.

Freshman Tahirih Nesmith added to the Penn lead in the 39th minute. Junior Clara Midgley and junior Kaitlyn Moore got credit for the assist.

The second half was an exhibition of defensive play, with the Quakers allowing the St. Peter’s offense virtually no opportunity to get on the board. The final shot count of the game for both teams was 23-1 in favor of Penn.

“We’ve always been pretty solid defensively,” coach Darren Ambrose said. “We weren’t as stretched as we thought we might be which is maybe a good sign. I think overall the team defends well as a team. I think everyone’s committed to it.”

The midfielding play was especially strong, with Moore giving a particularly nice performance all night. To put the cherry on top of an encouraging night, the Quakers added two more goals in the final minutes of the game from Scalora and junior Nikoletta Georgalis.

On Sunday afternoon, the Red and Blue picked up right where they left off on Friday. Senior Brianna Rano got the team off to a fast start with a goal in the 12th minute of play off an assist from freshman Lindsey Sawczuk. The offense broke through again in the 35th and 36th minutes with goals from sophomore Elissa Berdini and junior Megan York, respectively, giving Penn a commanding 3-0 lead, and they would never look back.

“There will be goals this year,” Ambrose said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that are competitive players, and they were upset last year that we scored as little as we did. I think they’ve taken it on their shoulders.”

The Quakers’ defense once again blanked the opponent’s offense, not only in terms of goals, but also shots, allowing a grand total of zero first half shots to the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers. The final score of the game was 4-0, with the final goal coming from Nesmith in the 67th minute of play.

“I can’t even tell you the feeling that I have,” Nesmith said. “I’m just trying to be where I can and just finish what I can, and I’ve just been really lucky and really fortunate to just have the opportunity I have to play with [the team].”

The old adage is that you can’t win if you can’t score, but the Quakers not only prevented both St. Peter’s and Mount St. Mary’s from scoring. But also they denied them even the chance to put the ball in the net, a testament to the defensive strength this team has exhibited this opening weekend.

It’s only the opening weekend of the season so there is still a long way to go in this season, but it was a very strong start to the campaign for Penn, and there is much reason to be optimistic about the team going forward.


Beginning of a new era for Penn women’s soccer’s defense

Will Penn women’s soccer’s midfielders fill a Beck-sized hole?

The goal? More goals, finishing from the start for Penn women’s soccer

Family ties bind Red and Blue’s up-and-coming Kaitlyn Moore

So close, yet so far away: the highlights of Penn women’s soccer in 2012

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