PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team was able to salvage a 1-1 tie with Yale on Saturday night at Rhodes Field.
Down 1-0, the Quakers were awarded a penalty kick with just 21 seconds left in regulation, and senior Kerry Scalora nailed it home. If you are a Penn fan you loved the call; if you were a Yale fan you were in disbelief. Regardless of which side you were on, it was an admittedly gutsy call given the time left.
The overtimes were much like regulation -- neither team created outstanding chances, but there were moments of drama. Penn’s best chance came in the second OT, when a ball crossed from the right side was headed by Tahirih Nesmith at the far post. The angle was low, however, and Yale keeper Elise Wilcox was there waiting for it and easily grabbed it.
With the tie, Penn moved to 10-1-4 on the season, more importantly 3-1-1 in Ivy League play. With only two matches left, the Quakers suddenly need more help if they are going to overcome front-running Harvard (5-0-0 after a 4-0 win over Princeton tonight). Yale is now 7-5-1, 2-2-1 in Ivy play.
In the first half, Penn’s first corner kick created a nice chance, as Brianna Rano’s ball was headed toward the far post by Nesmith. It looked like Yale’s goalie was beaten; however, a Bulldogs defender was on the post and cleared it away.
In the second half, Kalijah Terilli made a superb save, grabbing a ball that looked like it was headed for the upper right corner.
However, in the 76th minute, even Terilli couldn’t stop Yale from scoring. Off a corner kick, Melissa Gavin sent a ball into the middle of the box. It bobbled among several players, until suddenly Paula Hagopian was wide open with the ball in front of the goal. She left nothing to chance, shooting it high into the netting.
The goal was just the sixth Penn has allowed this season, and the first in October (a span of 697 minutes).
On this night, it looked like it might be enough. However, with the final seconds winding down the whistle blew amidst a scramble in front of Yale’s goal. Then the ref pointed to the spot.
Terilli finished the game with four saves, while Wilcox was credited with nine saves in the Yale goal (many of them routine).
Penn is at Brown next Saturday at 7 p.m.