PHILADELPHIA--Junior Julie Tahan scored off a penalty corner with 7:58 left in the game to break a 3-3 tie with the Towson Tigers (0-4) and send Penn field hockey to its first 2-0 start in over 10 years Sunday night at Franklin Field.
“I think it was one of our primary goals to start off the season strong and start strong at home, so it’s very rewarding to see their hard work pay off,” said head coach Colleen Fink, who leads the Quakers to a 2-0 start for the first time in her career at Penn. “I think the message that I’m going to send to them is that they are learning how to win. Two tough, close games show them how to win and that’s very exciting going forward.”
Penn got off to a good start as Tahan opened up scoring early in the first half off a pass from MaryRose Croddick, who tallied points (two assists) for the second game in a row.
Towson’s Courtney Branco answered back with a goal of her own to tie the score at 1-1 before senior Sarah Hasson would put the Quakers back on top with a blast from the top. Penn went into halftime leading 2-1 and extended its lead to 3-1 early in the second half after Amelia Cohen’s second career goal.
Branco and Heather Jenney scored two unanswered for the Tigers to tie the game up at 3-3 with just over 15 minutes left in the game, setting the stage for Tahan’s heroics.
The game-winning goal looked exactly like the first goal. After a Helene Caniglia corner, Tahan scored off a pass from Croddick to give the Quakers the lead for good.
Sophomore goalkeeper Carly Sokach picked up her second career win, making three saves for the Quakers.
The Red and Blue, for the second straight game, held the advantage in shots (15-12) and penalty corner (13-6), the penalty corners a key for Penn as three of its goals came off the set plays.
The 2-0 start marks the program’s best start to open the season since 1997.
Next up, the Quakers travel to Virginia next weekend for games against Liberty (Sept. 8) and Appalachian State (Sept. 9).