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Women's Field Hockey v Monmouth. I think it was a 2-4 loss. Credit: Isabella Gong , Isabella Gong

Luckily for Penn field hockey, this weekend’s games won’t impact the Ivy League standings.

The Quakers dropped two games against Monmouth and Maryland — two tough nonconference opponents — dropping their overall record on the year to 4-6.

The Red and Blue kicked off the weekend on Thursday when they hosted Monmouth (7-6). The Hawks were led by senior forward Amanda Schoenfeld , who scored two goals in the 4-2 victory for Monmouth. Midfielder Trish O’Dwyer and defender Casey Hanna each added a goal apiece.

Monmouth scored three of its goals in the game’s first 16 minutes, jumping to a quick 3-0 lead.

However, Penn quickly countered with goals from attacks Elise Tilton and Alexa Hoover . Hoover’s tally came on a breakaway feed from Elizabeth Hitti just before the end of the first half, temporarily cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Hoover’s goal was her team-leading ninth of the season. Those nine goals are good for second-best in the Ivy League, tying Hoover with Columbia’s Katie Ruesterholz . The freshman has enjoyed a breakout season and has undoubtedly become a key cog in the team’s offensive engine.

Freshman Christen Piersanti was solid in goal for Monmouth, turning away 8 shots on the afternoon. Her counterpart, freshman Elizabeth Mata , was not as successful in her first college start, allowing all four goals while making only three saves. Regular goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels came on for the final 18 minutes of the game and added an impressive four saves.

Things were not nearly as close on Sunday as the Quakers headed south to take on No. 2 Maryland (11-2). The Terrapins scored early and often in a 9-0 victory, receiving goals from eight different players. Junior Sarah Sprink scored twice, helping Maryland to its sixth straight win.

Penn goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels, in her return to starting duty, made 10 saves against a constant stream of Maryland shots. Hoover, who played all 70 minutes in the blowout, recorded three of Penn’s five shots on goal.

Sunday’s loss was the first in which the Quakers were defeated by more than two goals. However, it is hard to draw many meaningful conclusions from a game in which the Red and Blue were clearly overmatched. Unlike Maryland, the Red and Blue aren’t looking to be the best team in the nation — they’re just trying to win the Ivy League.

Luckily, Penn will get an opportunity to work on just that when they jump back into Ancient Eight play in its next game on Saturday. The Quakers will look to improve on their 1-2 Ivy League record when they host Columbia (6-4, 2-1 Ivy) at Ellen Vagelos field at noon.

While it’s easy to get discouraged with nonconference losses, Penn will get a much-needed week to regroup and get back to the real work at hand.

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