Penn women’s lacrosse is on the road to making history after racking up its seventh win of the season with zero losses thus far.
On Saturday afternoon, the Quakers traveled to No. 19 Duke and led wire-to-wire in a 15-11 victory, proving the Quakers are a threat to not only the Ivy League but to all top-20 teams that may face the rest of the way.
Coach Karin Corbett was proud of the team's latest quality victory, satisfied with how her team approached the game on Saturday in Durham.
“Duke is an athletic team, and it’s always nice to beat an ACC team that is known for lacrosse. It was nice to come away with the win,” Corbett said.
It seemed to be a close matchup in the beginning of the first half, but Penn (7-0, 1-0 Ivy) ran away with the lead right from the start of the second half. Freshman attacker Zoe Belodeau finished her hat trick by scoring with 25:03 left in the game, starting up the Quakers' momentum to take a 9-2 run in their favor.
Nevertheless, the Blue Devils (5-3, 1-1 ACC) did bring the competition, proving their capabilities in the midfield as they came out successful on most of the draws.
“On the draw we are having some trouble. We did not win the draw set against Duke and that is where a lot of their fast breaks were produced, so we have to work on that knowing its a strength of Maryland,” Corbett explained.
Though Duke fought back, the No. 9 Quakers did not let up. While they may have had some trouble with the draws, they were able to capitalize when they did have possession to seal the game. Six different players including Alex Condon, Erin Barry, Gabby Rosenzweig, Caroline Cumings, Abby Bosco and Belodeau scored to secure the win, proving Penn to be an offensive threat all over the field.
Belodeau and sophomore attack Rosenzweig led Penn with seven and six points, respectively.
‘We have a lot more girls who can score and assist [this year]. It’s a really balanced attack which I think is really difficult to defend,” Corbett said. “Duke put a faceguard on Gabby and it opened up more in the middle for us. It is really hard to defend that. They may take out one person but we have others who can put the ball in and we do.”
With so many great offensive players, the Red and Blue are a force to be reckoned with that is not easily stoppable.
According to Coach Corbett however, the defense is where it all began.
“Our defense has been playing really well. Duke was very good on fast breaks but our defense played great. The shot clock went down several teams and we were solid there.”
Corbett added that sophomore goalkeeper Mikaila Cheeseman, who had a career-high 14 saves, saw a wide variety of great shots on Saturday against Duke and that she will see it again against Maryland on Wednesday.
The Quakers are flying high with their best seven-game start in nine years, but their next task won't be easy. Defending national champion Maryland (6-1, 1-0 Big Ten) currently No. 5 nationally, will look to defeat the Red and Blue this Wednesday on Franklin Field.
“If you make a mistake against, Maryland they make you pay for it,” Corbett said.
Little do the Terrapins know what is coming for them.