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Women's Soccer vs Princeton Tigers. Credit: Ceaphas Stubbs , Ceaphas Stubbs

We’ve all heard the saying “work hard, play hard.”

Penn women’s soccer did just that over the weekend.

The team spent its weekend bonding as a unit on the road, taking on Virginia Commonwealth on Friday and Delaware on Sunday — and ultimately picking up a win and a draw — along the way.

Over the past week, the Red and Blue team has practiced execution and finishing in front of the net. However, they were not able to translate these skills onto the field during Friday’s game.

“There won’t be immediate payoffs. It will happen overtime,” coach Darren Ambrose said. “Friday was 100 miles an hour. In the first half, we possessed the ball as well as any team had these past years.”

However, the Red and Blue struggled offensively in the second half .

“The players just made the wrong passes at the wrong time,” Ambrose added.

The team put in “tremendous team effort” and were great in its defensive positioning, but there were still moments that they allowed VCU (4-3-3) to slip past the back line and get clean shots on goal.

On Sunday, however, they were able to turn their overall play around with a 1-0 win against Delaware (4-5), making Penn’s record 3-1-2.

“We played well tonight,” Ambrose said after the match. “I couldn’t be happier with the performance.”

Penn got on the board with a goal late in the first half off the head of senior captain midfielder Kaitlyn Moore. After missing the season’s first four games due to injury, Moore is proving herself to be a vital part of the team.

“[It was a] massive lift [to have her back], not only on what she does on the field but also what she brings on a leadership standpoint,” Ambrose said. “She is a massive piece. The team is built around her.”

Senior goalkeeper Katherine Myhre made Moore’s goal stand up, preserving the win with her only two saves on the day in the waning seconds of the match.

So how will the Quakers prepare to turn their attention to the start of Ivy play on Sept. 27 against Harvard?

[The team] worked hard this weekend. Everyone needs a break; we will deal with Harvard on Monday or Tuesday,” Ambrose said. “The good thing is they’re starting to play well at the right time and have confidence that they can play.”

With several freshmen playing key roles on the team — such as forward Natasha Davenport — Ambrose is helping them transition into the level of Division I soccer.

“We keep putting them into situations and see what we need to correct. There’s no fast-forward button,” Ambrose said. “It takes months and months of training to get to the level we need them to be.”

This week, the team will once again focus on attacking and executing at the net, which will be crucial for the game against Harvard with the Crimson having taken down the Quakers last year to gain the Ivy League title.

The Red and Blue will work hard to prepare for the start of the Ivy table, and on Saturday, they will dive in by playing even harder.

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