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9-2-19-wsoccer-vs-towson-1711

Senior forward Emily Sands scored her first goal of the season in Penn women's soccer's 2-0 win against Towson on Monday.

Credit: Son Nguyen

It didn't take long for the Quakers to get back on track. 

Just three days after a loss to No. 3 Stanford, Penn women's soccer handled Towson, 2-0, despite rainy weather conditions that stopped the game for 90 minutes. It marked the first home game and first win of the season for the Quakers (1-1), who posted a 6-1-1 record at Rhodes Field last season. 

Towson, coming off a 2-0 victory over Saint Mary's, notched the first shot of the game with just under two minutes passed. In the 17th minute, senior forward Emma Loving beat Towson goalkeeper Lindsey Pazdziorko to the ball and skidded a ground ball to sophomore forward Jackie Bruder, who flicked it behind her on her first touch and found senior forward Emily Sands. Sands overpowered her defender and netted the Quakers' first goal in the far left corner at 18:56. 

In the 41st minute, Towson got a direct header on goal, but senior goalkeeper Kitty Qu swatted it out of the box to avoid a tying goal. Penn went into the half holding a 1-0 lead. 

The Red and Blue came out firing after the break. Loving sprinted down the left flank and found freshman midfielder/forward Sizzy Lawton, who won a 50-50 ball and split two defenders before calmly sending the ball past Pazdziorko. Lawton started the game over senior midfielder Kelsey Andrews, who started against No. 3 Stanford on Friday.

Credit: Son Nguyen

 "I was super excited because I thought I didn't perform well during the first half," Lawton said. "One of the main things [coach Nicole Van Dyke] talked about at halftime was that [Penn's] midfielders needed to decipher the game and be more involved, and in practice one of the main things we worked on is crosses and getting runners in the box, so it was great to see that pay off." 

The Red and Blue had more chances throughout the rest of the second period, but they were unable to convert any of them. In the 80th minute, Qu denied two Towson shots to seal the win for the Quakers in her 20th career shutout. 

The Quakers will host Fairfield on Friday as they look to build off Monday's win. The Stags are coming off a 5-1 loss to Yale.

"We need to keep the momentum going and keep all the hype we had against Stanford," Lawton said. "We need to be versatile and need to keep our legs moving. We need to be our best selves." 

"I think our coaches put emphasis on being organized in the middle, holding our shape in the midfield, and bringing the highest intensity to each game," freshman midfielder Sara Readinger said. "We need to compete in every game like it's against Stanford."

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