A big win and a tough loss.
This past weekend, Penn field hockey played its final two away games of the season against Brown and Providence, thrashing the Bears 6-1 on Saturday before falling victim to a late goal and losing 1-0 to the Friars on Sunday.
Entering the weekend fresh off their biggest win in years, a 3-2 victory over then-No. 10 Syracuse, the Quakers (9-7, 4-2 Ivy) carried much needed momentum into their weekend road trip.
Their first opponent, a Brown (1-15, 0-6) squad still looking for its first conference win, was not expected to put up much of a fight. The Red and Blue controlled the game right from the first face-off, cruising into halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead.
Junior Kelsey Mendell opened the scoring for Penn with her first goal of the season in the 14th minute off a pass from senior Alexa Hoover. Ten and twelve minutes later, the Quakers added goals number two and three in quick succession, courtesy of sophomore Chelsea Duggan's pass to senior Gina Guccione and junior Paige Meily's corner, which Hoover deposited in the back of the net.
Penn refused to hold back after the halftime break, scoring three more goals and stifling Brown on defense. Senior Jasmine Li also scored her first goal of the season when she slid a pass from sophomore Alexa Schneck past the Bears’ goalie in the 44th minute to make it 4-0 in favor of the Quakers.
Just over ten minutes later, freshman Erin Quinn assisted Hoover for her second goal of the game and her team-high 11th on the season. Freshman Jordyn Thies was the third Quaker to score her maiden goal of the season when she closed Penn’s run of goals in the 63rd minute off an assist from Li.
The Red and Blue’s defense, solid all game, gave up a goal to Brown’s Katherine Kallergis with just four minutes remaining after a battle in front of the net. Despite this last-minute setback, the defense played a strong game overall, limiting the Bears to just four total shots and one corner compared to Penn’s 26 shots and nine corners. The Quakers’ 6-1 triumph is their largest margin of victory on the season and was a continuation of their excellent form from the previous weekend.
The next day, the Quakers traveled all of three miles across the city of Providence to face Providence College (11-7, 4-3 Big East), whose record indicated this game would be much closer than the one against Brown.
Simply put, it was.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout much of the first half, with Penn leading 8-4 on shots entering halftime. Schneck had the best chances of the half for the Quakers, getting two shots off corners, but neither of them found the back of the net.
Penn's sophomore goalie Ava Rosati continued to be a wall of defense and made some key saves to keep the game scoreless at the halfway point of a very defensive-minded game.
However, with the second half came a change in the game's pace, and the Friars controlled tempo for most of the game's later stages, outshooting Penn 4-2 and consistently applying pressure to the Quaker defense.
A corner earned by Providence off a counterattack in the 67th minute turned out to be deadly for the Red and Blue, as the Friars’ Allie Lancaster converted a loose ball into the net to give the home team a slim lead with three minutes to go — a lead they would not relinquish.
In the end, the Quakers could not muster enough offense on day two of their road trip to stave off Providence, but their conference win over Brown on day one saw them move into a tie for third place in the Ivy League with Columbia.
This homecoming weekend will see the Quakers’ final game of the season, as they take on Ivy powerhouse and rival Princeton on Saturday eager for an upset win to cap off the year.
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