In a back-and-forth affair on Friday, Penn women’s lacrosse came out on top, beating Dartmouth, 15-14, in the semifinals of the Ivy League Tournament. The Quakers will look to win the Ivy League Championship game on Sunday against Princeton. Here are three takeaways from the contest as the Quakers advance to the championship game.
Penn’s offensive trio is dominant
From the beginning, the Quakers flexed their offensive muscles and scored early and often. Junior midfielder Erin Barry was the star of the game, scoring five goals, including the final one in the second period to put Penn ahead by two. However, what set the Quakers apart was that she was not alone. The team got three key goals from sophomore attacker Zoe Belodeau, and junior attacker Gabby Rosenzweig continued her offensive dominance with three goals and four assists.
With the way those three were playing, there was no chance for Dartmouth to stop all of them. The Big Green were never out of the game, though, often matching Penn’s scoring, which made it a highly competitive matchup.
In their last two regular season games, the Red and Blue scored 21 and 17 goals. They were able to bring that offensive dominance to the Ivy League Tournament with 15 goals today.
Fast start was key, but might not be enough on Sunday
After losing to Dartmouth last month, the Quakers needed to set the tone early, and that’s exactly what they did. Scoring 40 seconds into the game, Penn showed its aggressiveness and came out strong, putting the Big Green on their heels early. The Red and Blue's strong offensive first period is what won them the game, and it was how they were able to survive Dartmouth’s late second period run.
For their game on Sunday, the Quakers will need to be able to limit Princeton's momentum. Allowing 14 goals next game may be too much for them to win the title. Penn allowed Dartmouth to get back in the game via three consecutive goals with under six minutes left in the second period. Fortunately for the Quakers, their offense was able to save them, but that may not be the case on Sunday.
The Quakers rose to the occasion
Despite this being a No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup, it is safe to say that the Red and Blue were underdogs, especially after losing to Dartmouth in their regular season matchup. Penn did not let this distract and was able to rise to the occasion in the high-stakes tournament game. The pressure of this being a win-or-go-home situation did not affect the Quakers’ mentality, as they came out of the gates strong. They proved that they deserve to be in the tournament and that they can show up in big spots.
This win is about more than just moving on; it's also about the momentum and confidence that it gives the team. The Red and Blue were able to defeat a strong opponent in Dartmouth and will take that confidence with them on Sunday. Maintaining that nerve in the title game will be key. The Quakers know that they are able to play well in these big moments, a fact that makes them serious contenders to take home the Ivy title.
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