The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Penn women's lacrosse traveled to Ithaca, New York to take on Cornell on Apr. 13.

Credit: Grace Chen , Grace Chen

On campus, the weekend of Quaker Days brought overcast skies. In upstate New York, where No. 12 Penn women’s lacrosse played at Cornell, the conditions weren’t much better. Despite the lack of sunshine, the Quakers’ trip home was brightened with a big win, as Penn defeated the Big Red 11-7 on Saturday afternoon.  

With just four games left in the Quakers’ (9-3, 3-2 Ivy) regular season and Penn entering Saturday 2-2 in the Ivy League, this game would be crucial for positioning in the Ivy League Tournament. After losses to Yale and Princeton in their last two games, wins down the stretch will be necessary to guarantee Penn a spot in the conference postseason.The team’s performance this Saturday was an essential step in this journey to defend Penn’s Ivy championship from last season.

“Defensively we worked more like a unit anticipating a little bit more,” coach Karin Corbett said. "We caused a lot of turnovers ... Overall, we played a lot better as a team. The offense, you know, had some … really nice things that they created today and [was] able to finish so I was proud of them today, bouncing back.”

Cornell (7-6, 2-3) also came into the game 2-2 in conference. From the opening faceoff, both teams played with a desperate energy befitting squads fighting for playoff contention. The scoring started just three minutes into the game, as freshman attacker Catherine Berkery found the back of the net for her 21st goal of the season. Cornell quickly countered, and took a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, the game’s relentless pace continued. Senior attacker Niki Miles equalized the game at three apiece with a free-position goal. Throughout the period, Penn pressured the Big Red’s defense which kept it from having major chances on goal. Whenever Cornell threatened, senior goalkeeper Kelly Van Hoesen was a force in the net, holding the Big Red to just one goal in the quarter. 

Towards the end of the quarter, Junior midfielder Anna Brandt scored her 30th goal of the season to tie the game. Miles took over with a few minutes left on another free-position goal, before completing the first-half hat trick with just 13 seconds left in the quarter to give Penn a 6-4 lead. 

Early in the third quarter, Penn squandered a pair of man-up opportunities after Big Red fouls, largely due to strong work from Cornell’s goalkeeper Mackenzie Clark who was making her first career start in the cage. Brandt completed a hat trick of her own with a free position goal, and not long after, Miles fed junior attacker Erika Chung for an easy score to give Penn an 8-4 advantage. 

“It’s always nice to go into halftime with a lead but I think that for us we’ve had a couple games where we’ve been up two and then we’ve allowed them to come back in,” Corbett said. “I felt we did a really good job of coming out from halftime and being able to make a bigger lead with the game and pull away a little bit.”

The Quakers continued to pull away throughout the remainder of the third quarter with Penn scoring two more goals in the period to go up 10-5 with just 15 minutes left to play. Even when the Big Red had chances on goal — such as a free position shot with under a minute to play — Van Hoesen and the rest of Penn’s defense didn’t yield and kept Cornell out of the net. 

As the fourth quarter went on, Berkery scored again to give the Quakers an 11-5 advantage. The team also capitalized on turnovers and failed clear opportunities in order to strengthen its lead. But with a little over four minutes left, the Big Red showed their pedigree and scored two goals in quick succession. After the second one, Corbett called a timeout. 

In that timeout, Corbett emphasized, "Taking care of the ball, that time is on our side and we can't get sloppy, and we gotta take that extra second to make sure someone's open or who's coming on them and make a good pass."

From there on, Penn settled down and focused on keeping possession. After a few key stops, the Quakers were able to hold on to the ball as the clock hit zero. 

The Quakers now move solidly into the top four of the Ancient Eight table with two conference games left to play. Every game is crucial as Penn seeks to defend its conference title and return to the NCAA Tournament. This coming week, Penn will play twice at Franklin Field, hosting Loyola of Maryland on Wednesday afternoon before Brown comes to town next Saturday. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN+.