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Penn women's lacrosse played Yale in the Ivy League Championship on May 5.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

In last year’s Ivy League Tournament championship game, top-seeded Penn women’s lacrosse took down Yale in overtime to complete its undefeated Ivy League season. This year, the roles were reversed as No. 8 Yale looked to beat No. 10 Penn for the second time this year to complete its own undefeated run of the Ancient Eight. 

For the second straight year, the championship game entered overtime. And this time Penn found itself on the wrong end of the scoreline, falling to Yale in overtime 10-9.

In a matchup touting the third-ranked and seventh-ranked scoring defenses in the country, it was a defensive battle from the beginning. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Van Hoesen asserted her dominance early, saving three straight free positions to start the game. Van Hoesen finished the game with 10 saves and was named to the All-Tournament team.

“​​Kelly played amazing in the cage,” coach Karin Corbett said. “The defense played awesome to keep them to … 10 goals.”

On the other end of the field, Penn caught a lucky break when a Yale clear saw the defender slip while trying to pick up the ground ball. Junior attacker Erika Chung was there to scoop it up, finding a wide-open senior attacker Niki Miles who did not hesitate to see the ball into the back of the net on the one-on-one opportunity. 

During Penn’s first game against Yale, it was the Bulldogs who went on a scoring run in the second quarter to go up big. This time around, the Red and Blue found themselves in control as they went on a four-goal run to open up the second quarter. These four goals saw junior midfielder Anna Brandt record her second of the game and tenth of the tournament — tying an Ivy League record for most number of goals scored at a single tournament. 

Senior attacker Lexi Edmonds added on a hat trick of her own to give Penn its largest lead of the day at five goals. Yale was able to respond with two goals to cut the Penn lead to just three heading into the halftime break. The lead was all the more impressive considering that the Quakers played much of the first half down a player after picking up four yellow card fouls in just the first quarter. 

“Our defense played a lot better than the first game,” Corbett said. “We didn't play very well in the first game against them and they just … got that lead, took off, and took our confidence. We started out strong in this game and were able to get a lot of stops on defense and that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Coming out of the halftime break, the Bulldogs seemed to find its offensive rhythm. Attacker Jenna Collignon was able to score her second and third goals of the game to bring her tally at this tournament to 11 goals, beating Brandt to the punch of setting the Ivy League tournament record. Her third goal brought the Bulldogs to within one of the Quakers. 

After nearly 10 minutes of scoreless play, Penn senior midfielder Maria Themelis was able to get her shot off just as the shot clock expired to finally get the Quakers on the scoresheet in the second half. A well-timed step from senior defender and reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Izzy Rohr led to a turnover resulting in Brandt notching a behind-the-back goal to collect her third of the game and to tie Collignon for the record. Rohr and Brandt were both also named to the All-Tournament team. 

The fourth quarter was once again a chess match between two defenses, each being reluctant to break. After six minutes of scoreless play, it was the Red and Blue who finally opened up the scoring off the stick of none other than Brandt for the junior’s 12th goal of the tournament, putting her one goal in front of Collignon. 

A late fourth-quarter push from the Bulldogs saw Yale pull within one of the Red and Blue with just under three minutes to play. A caused turnover by junior defender Natasha Gorriaran allowed the Quakers to run the clock down to 22.2 seconds, but that was all Collignon needed to record her 12th goal of the tournament to send the game to overtime. 

In the second half of the overtime period, the hero for the Bulldogs was midfielder Taylor Lane, who scored with eight seconds left to give Yale its first-ever Ivy League Tournament Championship. 

With the loss, Penn women’s lacrosse will have to wait for the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament Bracket Selection Show, set to take place later tonight at 9 p.m., to see if it will be playing in the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament later this month. By all means, the resume the Quakers put together this year should be more than enough to secure themselves a spot. 

“We're going,” Corbett said. “[We’re] starting the season over now. We always look forward to the NCAAs and this is what we play for, to win championships and go to the NCAA to earn national championships. So we're excited … to play on.”