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Senior attacker Niki Miles evades Johns Hopkins' Jordan Carr on Feb. 24.

Credit: Weining Ding

Just under a year ago today, the Quakers pulled off an amazingly close win against Johns Hopkins with some magic in overtime. Today, Penn (2-0) needed no extra time to put away Johns Hopkins (3-2) as the Red and Blue reached up and clipped the wings of the 12th-ranked Blue Jays, 11-10.

Junior attacker Erika Chung, who sent the last matchup against Johns Hopkins to overtime in heroic fashion, started off the match for the Quakers and scored her first goal of the year in the first minute of action. From there, it was as back-and-forth as you’d expect from two of the nation's top teams. 

Penn had a plethora of players pour in points early on, including senior attacker Niki Miles and freshman attacker Catherine Berkery, but fireworks were popping off for both teams as neither could pull away from the other.

Hopkins employed an aggressive full-field defense for the first half of the match, which forced Penn midfielders to have to create for their teammates. On one particularly impressive offensive possession, senior midfielder Aly Feeley launched an over thirty-yard pass downfield that resulted in another Berkery goal. In response, JHU scored two straight to tie up the match. The first period would end a tense four-four as an impressive Penn goal, created off of a defensive stop and subsequent tough catch in transition by Berkery, was called off.

“Our defenders are great, they are always practicing those long balls,” Chung said. “Kudos to them for allowing us to push it in transition.”

Entering the second period, luck turned Penn’s way as Chung put in another goal off of another impressively long pass, this time by senior defender Sophie Davis. This one goal lead would stick around the entire second period as both teams failed to score. The Quakers would force turnover after turnover, but their failure to convert left the door open for the Blue Jays in the second half.

“We could’ve shot a lot better,” coach Karin Corbett said. “We had some moments of brilliance, but we gotta figure out how to do that more consistently over four quarters.”

The beginning of the third period reflected the second as both teams seemed to have lost the explosive offensive capabilities they showed off in the first period. Trading turnovers, the stadium started to become tense as both sides waited for the scoring drought to break. It was Penn who cleaned up their act first as Miles sent in her fifth goal of the season off of some impressive footwork, and her sixth in with a powerful run down the middle — both unassisted. 

“Niki just wants to win so badly, she's a team player that will put the team on her shoulders,” Corbett said. “She has big goals for this team, and I know that's what drives her.”

From there, the flood gates opened. JHU had a player sent off, and the Quakers would no longer let their opportunities pass them by. Chung racked up her second assist and Berkery her third goal within seconds of the player advantage. Junior midfielder Anna Brandt would join the fun with an unassisted goal of her own as the lead grew. The Blue Jays, not one to go down without a fight, put in three straight goals of their own. That particular run was capped off with an impressive give and go action ending with a falling strike to the back of the net for Johns Hopkins midfielder Ashley Mackin’s fourth goal of the game. As the match encroached the fourth period with the quakers up two, it was still anyone's game.

Needing to put the game to bed, the Quakers star offensive trio stepped up once again. Miles scored yet another unassisted goal two minutes into the period, which was followed up by a Chung assist and Berkery finish soon after. 

“It's so great to play with such high IQ players” Chung said. “We’ve been able to develop our chemistry, but it's not just us three, it's the whole offense.”

JHU would respond, with Mackey putting in a behind the head score followed by a score in transition off of a man advantage. Now sitting at 11-9, Penn had to hold on for six minutes to secure the win. With impressive defensive holds from senior goalie Kelly Van Hoesen, Penn would cling on to a 11-10 win

“I think we just kept building confidence all last year,” Corbett said. “Knowing what we were capable of last year, we feel we are capable of a lot more this year.”

Look out for the Red and Blue's next match as they go up against cross town rival Temple next Wednesday on ESPN+.