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Field Hockey beats Harvard 4-1 Credit: Thomas Munson , Thomas Munson

Watching senior Allison Weisenfels in goal for Penn field hockey, you wouldn’t think that she has only played in two games prior to this season.

What’s even more surprising is that this is her first season as goalkeeper.

Facing a question of who would play goalie this year after previous starter Carly Sokach quit, Weisenfels stepped up and agreed to try out the position, and has played strong between the pipes for the Red and Blue all season long.

“I had committed to be the manager this year because of my knee injuries,” Weisenfels said. “[But] I was talking to coach one day and she was like, ‘Do you want to suit up?’ Kind of jokingly, I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’

“I wanted to help the team out, and I guess I wasn’t horrible.”

Weisenfels is far from horrible, and has proven to be crucial to the Quakers’ success. It would be tough to blame many of Penn’s losses on the defense as only one of those losses came by more than one goal — a 5-3 defeat at Dartmouth on Saturday.

Weisenfels has made an impressive 37 saves, allowing just two goals per game. With each school in the Ivy League having competed in three conference games to date, Penn places fourth in goals against, with Weisenfels only surrendering 16 goals total.

Nobody is more pleased with Weisenfels’s success than coach Colleen Fink.

“When the season started we came up against an unfortunate series of events with the goalkeeping situation not what we had anticipated it being,” Fink said. “When Allison offered up the possibility of playing in goal, honestly the expectation wasn’t high, [but] she’s obviously done a fantastic job.”

Weisenfels credits much of her success to Penn’s strong defense.

“Honestly, 99 percent of it can be attributed to the defense and just doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” she said.

Even with the Quakers’ strong defense, Weisenfels has been critical to the team’s wins. In each of Penn’s first three Ivy games, Weisenfels made an impressive five saves. She has also proven to be a strong presence in goal in nonconference play, and her team can always expect her to perform well at clutch moments.

One of her best performances was during the game against Fairfield. Weisenfels was responsible for securing the Quakers’ 4-2 win, making three saves at crucial, high-pressure moments. Her strong performances have earned her the trust of her teammates and coach, who can rely on her skills and instincts every game.

“[Goalkeeper] is a very skill-specific position and most people play that position the majority of their career, [but] she’s definitely an athlete and fearless type of kid [and] she has worked those attributes to her advantage,” Fink said. “My goals for her every game are for her to do her best and rely on her instincts.”

Weisenfels is happy that this year, as a senior, she has been able to play with her teammates on the field.

“I’ve always been emotionally invested in what happens to the team and everything, but being on the field and being able to communicate with everyone ... just changes everything,” she said. “It’s also great being older now and having a leadership capability and working with the girls that I’ve been with for all four years.”

While Weisenfels admits that the team is striving for that coveted Ivy League title, she hopes to lead by example in keeping it all in perspective.

“Definitely our goal is always set on that Ivy championship, but it’s important that we always remember where we started from,” she said. “When we were freshmen we won four games total the whole season. We’ve worked hard and now we are a threat.”

And that, in large part, is thanks to Weisenfels.

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