After two hard-fought, back-and-forth games over spring break, Penn women’s lacrosse remains undefeated.
It took everything in the Quakers’ power to protect their perfect record, defeating hometown rival Drexel on Tuesday by a score of 12-10 and No. 21 Georgetown on Saturday, 8-7.
In their matchup against Drexel (2-3), the No. 8 Red and Blue (6-0) found themselves in unfamiliar territory. After a slow start, the Quakers faced their largest deficit of the season, down by a score of 4-0 after just the first seven minutes of the game.
Penn, however, was quick to bounce back. Led by junior attacker Gabby Rosenzweig and sophomore attacker Zoe Belodeau, the Quakers went on a 5-0 run, tying the game at the 12-minute mark and taking the lead just 18 seconds later.
“We can’t take 20 minutes or a whole first half to fix things that we see,” Belodeau said. “We need to take each possession as a chance to learn and grow.”
Penn traded goals with Drexel before taking its own four-goal lead with 15 minutes left in the game, an advantage that would prove too much to overcome. Junior midfielder Erin Barry led the team with three goals, while freshman goalie Krissy Kowalski, who is also a DP staffer, earned her first victory in goal, playing a career-high 45 minutes and collecting three saves.
Saturday’s victory over Georgetown (5-2) was a different story. From the opening draw to the end whistle, the game was neck-and-neck. Neither team was able to pull away by more two goals, and the outcome was decided in the final seconds.
“Our big theme was the 60 minutes that we have to play and focus with full intensity, and I think we did that today against a good opponent,” coach Karin Corbett said.
For the Quakers, it was a true defensive battle, with the contest being their lowest scoring of the season.
“[Georgetown] plays a high intensity zone that we haven’t seen yet,” Belodeau said. “During the week, offensively, we had to get very disciplined working together and moving the ball.”
Even with this preparation, the Hoyas were able to force 17 turnovers. However, the Penn defense could not be overlooked. Junior goalie Mikaila Cheeseman paved the way by matching a season high with 12 saves, while the Red and Blue defense forced 11 turnovers of its own.
“I thought Cheeseman played excellent in the net. We were on defense a lot, and I felt the defense did a good job against a potent [offense] with a lot of scorers on attack. I think we played well as a team, and Cheeseman came up big for us,” Corbett said.
Belodeau proved to be the main offensive catalyst against Georgetown. The sophomore attacker finished the day with seven points, five goals and two assists. At her side, Rosenzweig finished the game with five assists, living up to the hype of ranking third in the country in assists per game.
“For me it’s a game at a time,” Corbett said. “It’s not about necessarily who we play right now. It’s more about [getting] better.”
The Quakers will have a another great opportunity to get better and improve their 6-0 record this week against what might be their toughest competition yet — No. 2 Maryland.