Déjà vu. For so long, the Quakers looked like they were destined for their second frustrating draw in a row.
Penn women's soccer managed to pull out their first multi-goal game of the season, however, beating Delaware State, 2-0.
In a similar manner to their game against Cornell on Friday, the Quakers (3-5-3, 1-0-1 Ivy) had a plethora of wasted chances in the first half against Delaware State (0-10-1). Despite superb wing play from freshman forward Katharine Larson and well-placed set pieces from freshman defender Chase Geffert, the Quakers skied some close chances in the box.
The second half was a different story for the Quakers, however.
“We came out in the second half and played aggressively, assertively and with more urgency,” coach Van Dyke said.
After some quality build-up play starting from the back line, sophomore midfielder Emily Sands was able to create space and loft a shot into the top-left corner in the 61st minute, finally beating the Hornets' goalkeeper.
“It was a relief. We had so many chances that we didn’t put away, and we needed that to calm the game down,” Sands said.
Penn would continue to press throughout the remainder of the second half, consistently denying Delaware State’s entry into the final third. In the final play of the game, junior forward Maddie Dawkins finessed the ball over the visitors' goalkeeper from well outside of the 18-yard box to seal the victory.
The squad will head to Manhattan on Friday, poised to challenge an in-form Columbia Lions side, as the two teams continue their Ivy League campaigns.
The Quakers will have to capitalize on any opportunities they are afforded, as the Lions (4-4-1, 2-0-0 Ivy) are fresh off of two wins against Cornell and Brown.
“We need to make sure that our opportunities are the best they can be. At times, we need to look to make that extra pass,” Van Dyke said, with regards to the squad’s offensive play. “We’re always looking to get more numbers in the box so that we get more opportunities to score, but we’ve seen tremendous improvement since the beginning and I think we’re peaking at the right time.”
“We have to keep on working on finishing our chances and coming out strong the entire game,” Sands added.
There is no doubt, though, that the women’s soccer team is trending in a positive direction, and Friday’s match will serve as a major test for the team’s hard work thus far.