PHILADELPHIA - In a game that was nearly as crazy at the finish as it was at the start -- maybe crazier, honestly -- the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Dartmouth in overtime, 5-4, Sunday at Ellen Vagelos Field.
The Quakers improved to 3-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since 1995, and are tied with Princeton at the top of the conference standings. Penn is also 7-2 overall. Dartmouth fell to 1-2 in Ivy play, 3-6 overall.
Penn was down, 4-2, as the clock moved inside of 10 minutes left in regulation. However, on a day when Penn took a staggering 17 penalty corners (to Dartmouth’s one), the Quakers finally converted one. MaryRose Croddick left the ball for Julie Tahan, who played a ball to the right post where freshman Elise Tilton was waiting. She re-directed the ball into the goal, making it a one-goal game.
Less than three minutes later, Penn drew level. Alex Iqbal made it happen this time, driving the ball to the end line on the right side and shooting it into the middle. Tilton was all alone there, and one-timed a shot into an open goal to tie the score.
A critical moment occurred at the end of regulation, when Dartmouth’s Ali Savage -- who had three goals in the game -- was given a yellow card as Penn prepared for yet another penalty corner. When the Quakers were unable to win it, the teams went to overtime but the Big Green prepped to play a person down.
In the OT, the Big Green lost yet another player to a yellow card when one of their players took exception to a bang-bang play and let it be known. Suddenly, Penn was up two players, and it was 6-on-4. Perhaps inevitably, Corcoran banged home the winner before either of the yellow-card recipients were back on the field.
Both teams were coming off big losses from earlier in the week, which may have explained the furious start to Sunday’s contest. The teams combined for five goals before the game was 10 minutes old.
Dartmouth got on the board first, just 2:05 into the contest, when 3 made a nice play to set up 16 for an easy backhanded shot. Penn needed just 28 seconds to equalize, the freshman Jasmine Cole running the ball down the right side, beating a defender, and firing a shot past the Big Green goalkeeper’s left side.
Dartmouth regained the lead when Savage took advantage of a loose ball in Penn’s circle and knocked home a turnaround shot, but again Penn was quick to respond. This time, Corcoran drove the ball to the top of the circle, and with a defender on her back she sent the ball to the front of the goal where Sunny Stirewalt was able to bang it home.
Again, the Big Green took the lead. This time Savage did it on her own, driving into the circle along the left side, beating a defender, and crushing a shot that beat Carly Sokach to her left and insde the far post.
That was it for the scoring in the half, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on the Quakers’ end. Penn finished the half with a 14-5 shot advantage and a staggering 9-0 advantage in corners. At least twice, the Red and Blue had goals called back.
Dartmouth appeared to get the goal it might need to escape Vagelos Field with the win. With just over 20 minutes left in the game, Janine Leger brought it into the circle on the right side and played it to Savage, who converted past Sokach.
However, Penn outshot Dartmouth 26-10 on the day, and when the Quakers needed the goals they got them.
Penn is on the road for its next three games, starting Wednesday when the Quakers travel to Rider to meet the Broncs. Faceoff is slated for 5 p.m.