Even though it wasn't exactly the weekend the team was hoping for, one thing is clear: Penn field hockey is resilient.
The Red and Blue split their pair of games this weekend in Boston. They lost to Ivy League powerhouse No. 19 Harvard on Saturday, 6-2, but on Sunday, they were able to bounce back with a late goal against Boston University to win by a score 1-0.
What does this mean for The Red and Blue? Now with a win and a loss in conference play, the Quakers (3-6, 1-1 Ivy) are nearing a crossroads.
Despite the split, resilience is a word necessary to describe the weekend, as all three goals scored by the Quakers came in the final quarter of the contests.
Being down 5-0 to a conference opponent would make most teams discouraged. Yet two fourth quarter goals are evidence that this is a team that has no plans of letting the scoreboard dictate the way it plays.
Junior forward Erin Quinn, who had one of the fourth quarter goals against Harvard (6-2, 2-0), believes that some positives came out of the loss.
“After our loss to Harvard, we were obviously very disappointed because we all felt like we could’ve done more," Quinn said. "I think the team as a whole decided that we never wanted to feel that way again, so we knew we needed to use that game as fuel to push us in our other games. We are going to go into every other Ivy game confident and ready to give our all to win.”
Just a day later, the Quakers took on Boston University (3-7). After 52 minutes of a defensive struggle, sophomore forward Madison Jiranek was able to sneak the ball into the net. That would be all that Penn needed to secure the victory, as the defense held strong to pick up the 1-0 win.
Jiranek echoed Quinn, making it clear that the Harvard loss is not a defining moment in Penn's season and that it has already been a motivational tool for the team.
“This win was a true testament to how we can fight back as a team. It took a lot of heart and fight to come back from yesterday’s loss, but I think we played hard every minute of the game," Jiranek said. "It was definitely not an easy win, but it does speak volumes to our tenacity and how we will play going forward.”
Not only that, but Jiranek and the team gained valuable experience that could be helpful moving forward.
“I think we all learned the importance of trusting in ourselves and our skills despite any challenge," Jiranek said. "I think every single person on our team is a great player, but sometimes we don’t play with much confidence in ourselves. So, going forward, I think we need to step up for every game and know that we have what it takes as individuals and as a team because we are a great team, and we have so much potential.”
The Quakers are eager to get back on the field and step up to the next challenge. They will face Dartmouth (3-7, 0-2) at home next Saturday afternoon at Ellen Vagelos Field. A win on Saturday will be imperative if the Quakers want to get back on track for a potential postseason berth.
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