The adage normally goes that you win some, and you lose some. But when you are Penn women’s soccer, apparently you also tie some.
After 110 minutes, there was nothing to separate the Quakers (9-3-3, 2-2-2 Ivy) and Brown (8-2-5, 3-1-2), as the two teams fought to a 1-1 draw this Saturday at Rhodes Field.
The day started off with a Senior Day pregame ceremony honoring Penn’s six seniors, where the players were recognized on the field with their families for their contributions to the program. The game also represented the last time those seniors would don the Red and Blue at home. Despite that, the seniors and the rest of the team were unfazed.
“I don’t think it really affected us too much,” coach Nicole Van Dyke said. “It was just another opportunity for us to celebrate more Penn women’s soccer. Even though it was a draw, that one game doesn’t define who they are as people and what their contributions to Penn women’s soccer was. I think we tried our best to stay even-keeled.”
After a scoreless first half, the Bears kicked off the scoring in the 54th minute with a header from sophomore Amanda Lane. The goal represented the first score in the run of play that Penn had given up since 12 minutes into the first game of the season, as all other goals came from free kicks, corner kicks, or penalty kicks. The streak has defined the Quakers’ season, as their hallmark throughout the year has been a stingy defense that refuses to give up goals.
Penn responded quickly, with a goal of their own in the 69th minute, courtesy of sophomore Allie Trzaska. The Yardley, Pa., native found the ball on her foot after it had been sent in on a corner, and she promptly snuck it inside the right post to tie the game up at one.
“I thought we had some good opportunities, a few in the first half and few in the second,” Van Dyke said. “I think we definitely could have won the game, but there are also times where you think a draw is a fair result. To get the equalizing goal in the second half showed some great character from our players.”
Despite a push from the Bears in the final minutes of the second half, regulation play ended all knotted up at one, sending the two teams into overtime. Brown had several chances in both overtime periods, including a ball that knocked off the crossbar, but ultimately came up empty handed. Likewise, the Quakers had a few opportunities, namely a shot from junior Erica Higa on a one-timer that sailed just high.
Yet again, one of the Red and Blue’s brightest spots was the performance of freshman goalie Kitty Qu, who put together a stellar effort.
The Foster City, Calif., native tallied eight saves on the day, including three in the two overtime periods. Qu has been nothing short of spectacular for the Quakers this year, as she has posted a paltry 0.48 goals against average in 15 games, and has been instrumental in the team’s success this year.
“I think Kitty has done a great job coming in and settling in quickly,” Van Dyke said. “She’s constantly and consistently been able to make those saves when we need them, she’s calm and confident in the net. The fact that she’s doing this while just being a freshman bodes well for her future and the future of the team.”
The draw essentially locks the Quakers into the middle of the Ivy League standings. With only one game left next weekend at fifth place Princeton, Penn currently sits in fourth with eight points. The Quakers would need both a win and a loss from Brown to move into a tie for third place, which is the best the Quakers can do.
Only one game remains this year for the Quakers, and they will look to close out the season with a strong effort next Saturday.
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