This weekends' two matches were two sides of the same coin for Penn field hockey. That is, during the course of one weekend, the Quakers experienced two completely different results.
The Red and Blue split their matches this weekend, suffering a 2-0 loss in an Ivy conference match to Columbia, and recovering for a 4-2 win over in their final City Six match in the schedule against local rival Temple.
The double-header started on Friday evening as Penn field hockey (6-6, 2-2 Ivy) traveled out to New York to face off against Columbia (7-5, 3-1) in a critical Ancient Eight contest to determine which of the two teams would stay behind undefeated rivals Harvard and Princeton.
The two teams traded blows early in the matchup, holding each other scoreless throughout most of the first half. Initially, it seemed that the Quakers would end the first period and regroup for the next 35 minutes, but the Lions had other plans.
In the 28th minute of the opening period, Columbia freshman attack Meghan Fahey connected off a cross from junior teammate to Danielle Buttinger to record the first goal of the contest. It wouldn’t take long for the Lions to follow up with a second goal, as sophomore midfielder Jennifer Trieschman scored off a rebound just five minutes later.
That’s how long it took for the Quakers to go from feeling confident about their performance to trailing by two goals.
Penn did pick up its play in the second half, but it was not enough. Sophomore keeper Ava Rosati registered two key saves to keep Columbia from scoring in the second half. Sophomore Alexa Schneck was a force in the attacking third for Penn as the Quakers had six shots on goal in the second half. But, The Lion’s defensive efforts were just as strong, as all six of those shots were saved, and the Quakers went down 2-0 in the end.
As tough as it is to recover from a loss, coach Colleen Fink’s squad didn’t have much time at all to dwell. And it seemed to have served them well, as Penn took down Philly rival Temple (4-10, 0-5 AAC) just two days later.
It didn’t seem as if Penn would be able to pull out the win against the Owls either, as after 50 minutes of play, the Quakers found themselves down 2-1 thanks to finishes from Temple sophomore attacks Maddie Merton and Cristen Barnett.
As the second period progressed and the end of the game neared, Penn found themselves unable to draw level. 20 minutes left turned into 15 minutes left, and as the game approached the 60th minute of play, Penn was still down 2-1. That would all change in the next ten minutes.
That’s how long it took for the Quakers to rip open a game they once trailed.
Scheck opened the stretch with a clean finish off an assist from senior Alexa Hoover. Freshman Erin Kelly secured the go-ahead point with her first collegiate goal a mere two minutes later. Hoover added insult to injury as she closed the stretch with an empty-net goal with just under two-minutes to play to build an insurmountable two goal lead for Penn.
The Quakers' results this weekend showed just how quickly things can change in sports. Five minutes was all that separated them from their Ivy counterparts, and ten minutes was all that separated them from their city counterparts.
Penn's schedule does not get easier, as Penn will hope to turn time on its side next weekend against Ivy-rival Yale and #9 ranked Syracuse.
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