Last year, Penn field hockey lost in a riveting double-overtime match against the Harvard Crimson. What will they do differently this year to clench a win?
The No. 25 Quakers are on the road in Cambridge this weekend, and with continued hopes of dominating the Ivy League, they hope to take on everything Harvard will throw at them.
Last year the Red and Blue (4-4, 1-0 Ivy) saw an unfortunate 3-2 loss at home with a nail-biting double overtime. Despite the defeat, this was the same game in which then-junior forward Alexa Hoover scored her 45th goal of the season, allowing her to become Penn’s all-time leading goal scorer.
No. 10 Harvard (7-2, 1-0) currently leads the Ivy League, only recently winning 2-1 in overtime against Yale last week. Harvard has won its last ten conference games since 2015, but the Crimson did fall to Penn in 2015 by a score of 2-1.
Nevertheless, the Quakers enter Saturday's contest in high spirits, with an undefeated weekend against another Ivy League rival, Cornell, and a 3-2 overtime victory at a highly-ranked American.
“Any Ivy League game is important, but also beating a ranked opponent is something we always really want to do. Having two things at stake this weekend is really exciting,” junior forward Sofia Palacios said.
The Quakers are looking forward to their match against the Crimson. After their defeat last year, the team now knows what to expect and how to approach the Crimson’s aggressive playing strategy.
“We’ve seen it now, we’ve seen what we can do; based on the success we’ve had this past weekend I think we’ll try and replicate that with all those plays, use our momentum, and that mentality,” said senior forward, Rachel Huang on their team’s performance over the weekend. “Our goal for this game is just to win it outright."
Last year, Harvard quickly established a 2-0 lead within the first half of the game and aggressively forced the Quakers to remain on the defensive. Both Huang and Palacios agreed that this time, that won’t be the case.
“Playing a tough team you can’t go down 2-0 and expect to come back every single time. I think if we can score early and not go down immediately, we’ll be better than last year,” Palacios said.
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