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Junior Julia Russo takes the ball down the field in the game versus Towson on Sept. 19th. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Rebound and reload. 

This weekend, the Quakers (3-3) invited two formidable foes to Ellen Vagelos Field. First, on Friday, Penn played the No. 9 ranked Saint Joseph’s Hawks (5-2) and lost by a score of 4-0. Later in the weekend on Sunday, the Red and Blue played the Towson Tigers and won 1-0. 

Both of the games this weekend were played with awareness campaigns, with Friday's game being their Gold in September game and Sunday’s game the annual Believe in Brynn game. 

In the first game of the weekend, the Hawks came out strong and the Red and Blue were unable to find an answer. With about 2 minutes left in the first quarter, St. Joe's opened the scoring with a corner from junior Freke van Tilburg. 

Later in the second quarter, the Hawks doubled their lead with a shot by sophomore Manu Ghigliotti that fooled sophomore goalkeeper Sabien Paumen. About six minutes later, Ghigliotti struck again off of a pass to extend the lead to 3-0. The third quarter remained scoreless, with the Penn defense standing up to the task. With six and a half minutes left in the game, St. Joe's increased its lead when sophomore Lily Santi scored off of a creative move at the top of the circle. 

Penn had two great opportunities late in the game, but both were denied by St. Joe's' goalkeeper. Freshman Sophie Freedman had a wide-open opportunity to get the Quakers on the board but was stonewalled by the goalkeeper. 

"For the St. Joe’s game, we definitely did some nice things,” head coach Colleen Fink said. “It wasn't all 4-0 loss material. We did some really nice things through the midfield, we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had offensively. We had a lot of missteps and miscues and cuts that didn’t result in the right ball or balls that didn’t produce the right cut."

Coming into the second game of the weekend, the Quakers were hoping to rebound with a win. Notably, the game marked the second time senior captain Maddy Fagan played against her mother E.A. Jackson, who is the head coach of the Tigers. 

The Quakers dominated the game from the beginning, and it did not take long for them to open up the scoring. Less than seven minutes into the game, senior Ashley Wetzel sent a feed across the cage to junior Julia Russo, who chipped it past the Towson goalie. That was all that the Quakers needed on the day to get the win, but they would end up outshooting the Tigers 14-5 on the day. 

“I think it was coming from our defense, and then Ashley took it in the midfield and went all the way down the right,” Russo said of her goal. “She took it down the baseline and it was a really good run and then she passed it. I was off-stroke a little, and she made a really good pass, diagonal stroke. I just one touched it, and it deflected.“

The Quakers are hoping that their recent games against high-level competition will set them up well when it comes time for Ivy League play.

“It was a tough defensive game for us, so it is like showing that resilience, showing what we can do, how we can adapt. And hopefully that is going to prepare us for a tough Ivy League defensive game,” Fink said. “When we are playing these top-10 teams, hopefully it is preparing us for some of the tougher Ivy games."

Next weekend, Penn will be back in action when it open up its Ivy League play with a home game versus Princeton on Friday at 3 p.m.