Penn field hockey came out of the gates quickly and had a strong finish against Brown on Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers beat Brown, 3-2, in Providence, R.I. in a game in which they never trailed.
Penn (7-9, 4-2 Ivy) got off to a quick start when junior midfielder Erin Kelly took a shot from the arc that found the back of the net at the 1:07 mark in the first quarter. A little over three minutes later, junior forward Erin Quinn tacked on another goal off an assist from junior back Reese Vogel to put Penn up by a score of 2-0.
Coming out in attack mode was something the Quakers wanted to do, and they were able to execute that immediately.
“It was definitely part of our game plan going in,” Kelly said. “We all came out super hungry for a good win, and we were not going to sit back and let them dictate the beginning minutes.”
The remainder of the first half was quiet offensively, as the two teams took only a combined three shots in the second quarter. With less than 30 seconds to go in the third, Brown (5-11, 1-5) got its first goal of the game off a rebounded shot to cut Penn’s lead in half.
Senior forward Alexa Schneck provided the game-sealing goal with under five minutes left in the match, knocking the ball in off a penalty shot to give Penn a 3-1 lead. The Quakers conceded a final goal with less than a minute left to go in the game, but it was too little, too late for the Bears.
While penalty shots come with a lot of pressure, Schneck never had a doubt about converting.
“For me, I just think it’s going in,” Schneck said. “There is no question in my mind that I am scoring, so it’s more mental and just being confident that you can make it.”
The Red and Blue played a balanced game overall, getting contributions from many players, along with solid goalkeeping from senior Ava Rosati. While she didn't score, freshman defender Elita van Staden was in attack mode all day, as she had the most shots on the team with five and the most shots on goal with three.
“This was really a team effort,” Kelly said. “Whether it was our offensive urgency or how we all came back when a goal was scored against us, we all knew what we needed to do.”
“We really did a good job of making sure everyone was involved in the offense,” Schneck said. “No one person was the center of our scoring opportunities.”
Penn has one more game left on the schedule — Senior Day against No. 8 Princeton — when the group will look to end the season on a high note.
“Knowing that it is the seniors' last game is definitely going to give us a lot of motivation because we all want it so bad,” Schneck said.
A Senior Day game against rival Princeton should be enough motivation, but the players are also motivated to play for one another.
“We all have this feeling that this is a very special team that we’re on, and we only have so many more chances left to be able to play with this exact team,” Kelly said.
The Quakers have one more opportunity to play together next Saturday, and much like in this weekend's game, they are hoping to finish strong.