The immense team spirit of Penn women's soccer was apparent to all fans in attendance on its Senior Day, as the Quakers (3-5-7, 0-4-2 Ivy) faced the Brown Bears (11-2-2, 5-0-1 Ivy) to a 1-0 defeat.
With a packed cheering section populated by family and friends from all over the country, the Quakers honored seven seniors: Miranda Farman, Sara Readinger, Peyton Raun, Emily Pringle, Sizzy Lawton, Ella Wright, and Lucy Kellog. While the Quakers ultimately lost to the Bears, giving up a goal in the 27th minute, they left it all on the field.
Senior midfielder Sara Readinger found junior midfielder Paige Kenton, who then distributed the ball wide to senior defender Emily Pringle, controlling play for the first 10 minutes of the match. This passing pattern proved successful, as the Quakers sent a ball deep into the Bear’s 18, though keeper Bella Schopp was quick to pick it up. In the 13th minute, Penn continued this offensive momentum but failed to connect on a corner kick.
The Bears then built up their own momentum, taking two corners of their own, but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the 27th minute, the Bears connected off of Sheyenne Allen’s free-kick just beyond the goal box. Ava Seelenfreud capitalized on Allen’s kick, heading the ball into the back of the net.
Penn kept its heads high and energy up, especially after junior goalkeeper Laurence Gladu saved a penalty kick in the 37th minute of the match. Gladu stopped the low penalty shot, eliciting cheers and praise from a rowdy Quaker fan section. The Quakers ended the first half down one to the Bears.
Starting off the second half of play, the Quakers took a corner kick that resulted in a shot by sophomore forward Katerina Peroulas. A foul on sophomore Isobel Glass in the 49th minute of play kept the Quakers in the Bears' defensive third, taking two subsequent corners to no avail. Gladu came up with four saves in the match, aided by the tactful defensive work of Pringle and Raun.
The Quakers’ seven seniors were celebrated this match day by family and friends, as the fan section saw nearly 500 people in attendance.
Raun spoke on how special it was to have so many supporters come out for their Senior Day.
“I'm from California. So it's really nice to have my whole family here, including my brothers," Raun said. "We have a really special group of us here with all our families here and we all really love spending time together. So I think that's a really unique thing about this group of seniors.”
A tone of pride and true admiration for each other was shared among these seven athletes, as they all cited how much they will miss being together as a team when this season comes to an end.
Senior Miranda Farman felt bittersweet about the final game at home.
“This team is incredibly close this year," Farman said. "Whether it be that you live with people that are three years younger than you, the relationships that have been built this year are unmatched.”
While these soon-to-be graduates have various different plans after graduation, with some heading into banking, getting their masters, or going to graduate school, they spent this Senior Day honoring the connections they’ve made throughout their Penn soccer careers.
Not only did they emphasize their closeness as a class, but also their appreciation for the efforts of the underclassman players to make this day as special as possible.
“I just think the underclassmen really made it special for us," Farman said. "They obviously put in a lot of work, and it shows how much they care about our class and how much we all mean to each other, which is really nice.”
The Quakers’ Senior Day celebration allowed the senior class to reflect on the strong friendships they’ve made throughout their Penn soccer careers, and how they will be keeping these friendships near and dear to their hearts as they enter the next chapter of their lives.
“I think that outside of the soccer part we have all built really special relationships that we'll have for the rest of our lives," senior Ella Wright said. "We’re going to have those friends forever, so it's been really special.”
The Quakers head to Princeton next weekend for the final game of regular season play. Stream the game on ESPN+ to watch the Quakers finish the regular season.