Penn came out aggressive, but at the end of the day, the Quakers had nothing to show for it.
Coming off of a 3-2 double-overtime win over Ivy League rival Dartmouth, Penn field hockey failed to capitalize on its many chances, and fell to Lafayette for the first time in four years, 2-1.
Senior forward Rachel Mirkin started the initially lopsided onslaught with two shots on back-to-back corners within the first few minutes. But it was sophomore midfielder Erin Kelly who converted the early pressure for Penn (6-6, 2-1 Ivy) in the ninth minute. After breaking into the circle, she put a backhanded shot into the net to give Penn the early lead.
The Quakers continued to be assertive throughout the first half, as senior back Paige Meily and sophomore midfielder Jordyn Thies each registered a shot on goal, forcing saves from Lafayette’s defense. Meily's shot came off of a corner, which the Red and Blue had five of in the first half.
In the second half, Penn remained the dominant side offensively, winning its sixth corner of the game three minutes after play resumed. Meily attempted to link up with Kelly, but her pass was anticipated and blocked by a Lafayette defender.
In the span of five minutes, Lafayette (5-8, Patriot 2-1) scored twice to change the trajectory of the game. After winning their first corner in the 42nd minute, the Maroon and White slotted in a low shot to the far post to equalize the game. Shortly after in the 47th minute, the Leopards seized the momentum and scored a goal after a shot from the left side of the circle slid by junior goalkeeper Ava Rosati.
This eventful block of activity didn’t deter Penn’s effort to find an equalizer, as its last-minute urgency resulted in three separate chances to level the game. Freshman forward Julia Russo had a shot blocked on the Quakers’ eighth corner of the game. On the team's ninth corner, junior midfielder Alexa Schneck nicked the post with her shot. In what was to be the game’s last meaningful play, a Lafayette defender parried away Russo’s shot.
Despite the Quakers' consistent efforts, they were unable to convert their numerous opportunities. Penn now has a few days to reflect before it returns home to face Ivy foe Columbia on Friday.
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