NEW HAVEN – No. 13 Penn entered its game at Yale looking to be the first team in 2014 to deal the Bulldogs a loss. A seven-goal first half was enough to give Penn the cushion needed to handle Yale in an eventual 11-9 win for the Quakers.
The win, Penn’s 11th consecutive win inside the Ivy League and its 50th in its last 52 Ancient Eight games, was historic for head coach Karin Corbett as it was her 152nd as head coach of the Quakers – a new program record for wins by a coach. The previous mark was 151 set by Anne Sage from 1974-1998.
"I have been fortunate to work with so many tremendous people at Penn," Corbett saidf. "From my past and present coaching staffs and players, to the administration, and all of the many people who contribute everyday to our daily routines have been a part of all of these wins. I can't thank everyone enough as it truly has been a team effort."
Penn held leads of 2-0, 4-1 and 7-3 in the first half, creating separation each time the Bulldogs would try to climb into the game. In the second half, the Bulldogs scored four of the first five goals before the final period was 10 minutes old to close Penn’s lead to just one, 8-7. Penn would not allow the Bulldogs to tie the game, retaking two goal leads after each Bulldog score. The final insurance goal came from freshman Lauren D’Amore – her first career goal – with 49 seconds to play.
While Quakers have been the dominant team in Ivy League women’s lacrosse the past seven years with seven consecutive League championships, Yale entered the game off to a hot start with five wins to begin 2014 and a 12-5 win over perennial Ivy Tournament contender Dartmouth to its credit.
Both teams have controlled games with defense through the early stages of 2014, Yale leading the nation allowing just 6.8 goals-per-game and Penn right behind at 7.0 allowed per game. Through the opening stages of Saturday’s contest, it appeared those numbers would hold up.
Tory Bensen opened the scoring for Penn at the 2:50 mark as she snuck out from behind the cage and slipped a Nina Corcoran pass inside the post for her 12th goal of the season. That was the only goal of the first 10 minutes, Lely DeSimone adding the second goal of the game – again on a Corcoran pass – as DeSimone leaped high to corral the pass and send it under the bar at 10:14.
Yale called timeout following the goal, looking to find some offense after having zero shots on goal and four turnovers to show for the opening 10 minutes of play. The breather paid off as Nicole Daniggelis earned a free position and scored on it just 41 seconds after DeSimone’s goal to get Yale on the board.
The Red and Blue rebounded with two consecutive goals to pull ahead, 4-1 just before the midway part of the half. The first goal came off the stick of Lindsey Smith as she streaked down the center of the offensive zone and fired in her first of the game at the 139 mar Just under a minute later, DeSimone dodged past three defenders from a high zone start and blasted in her second of the day.
The Bulldogs put together their first run of real possession to climb back in the game, Daniggelis adding two more goals in a span of 54 seconds to bring the Bulldogs back within one, 4-3, with 13:42 left in the first half. Those goals would be the final ones Yale would connect on in the opening period, Penn putting together a three-goal run to close the half. Iris Williamson scored the first of the run off a Lindsey Smith pass just 1:21 after Yale climbed within one. Neither team scored for the next nine minutes until Smith struck for her second as Williamson repaid the favor with an assist of her own at the 26:15 mark of the first half. Corcoran would pad the lead with her first of the game coming with 1:25 to play in the half.
Yale stormed out in the second half, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes of the period, Kerri Fleishhacker had three of those goals, including one just 24 seconds into the second period. DeSimone countered that goal with a free position at the 33:08 mark of the game, but a goal from Erin Magnuson and then two more from Fleishhacker had it back to a one-goal game with 19:47 to play.
After Yale closed within one, Penn had multiple chances to extend its lead, but Bulldog keeper Erin McMullan was up to the task. She stopped three Iris Williamson shots in a span of 1:27 – including two on free positions to keep the Quakers from adding to their lead.
At the other end of the field, Lucy Ferguson also made big saves in this crucial stretch of the game, including a big one on Christina Doherty with 15:19 to play.
Bensen would finally crack McMullan with 8:06 to play, depositing a Corcoran pass for her second of the game. The two-goal lead was again short-lived as Daniggelis stormed down the field off the draw and drew a free position attempt which she scored on just 14 seconds after Bensen’s goal.
With 5:45 to play, Yale was inches away from tying the game for the first time, but a Tess McEvoy shot clanged off the left post and ricocheted 30 yards down field. Smith picked up the ground ball and sent Penn in transition. Eventually, the ball circled to DeSimone at the top of the arc and she made a quick dodge to her right and beat McMullan for her fourth of the game at the 55:23 mark.
The Bulldogs had one last charge in them, Fleishhacker scoring her fourth with 3:35 to play to make it a 10-9 lead for the Quakers. The ensuing draw was one by DeSimone and shortly after the draw, Daniggelis was issued a yellow card allowing Penn to all but close the game on the man-up. Penn held for a perfect shot, and it was Lauren D’Amore who scored, taking advantage of Yale pulling its goalie to send her first collegiate goal into an open net with 49 seconds to play to seal the win and send Penn to 2-0 in the Ivy League.
The Quakers had a 34-21 edge in shots in the game, and a 22-13 advantage in shots on goal. McMullan finished with 11 saves for Yale, and she did her part to keep her team in the game by holding the Quakers to just 1-for-11 on free position attempts in the game.
Penn won eight draws to 14 for Yale, but held Ivy League leader and national No. 2 Daniggelis to below her season average as she won five. The Red and Blue overcame the deficit on the draw with 12 caused turnovers in the game, led by Meg Markham who had five. Corcoran, Allie Martin and Lydia Miller each added two for the Quakers.
Markham was all over the field for the Quakers, adding four ground balls and three draw controls to her five caused turnovers. Lindsey Smith had three ground balls, while Ferguson, Corcoran, Martin and DeSimone each added two.
DeSimone’s four goals were a single-game high for the sophomore as was her four points. Corcoran’s five points and four assists were also both single games bests.
The Quakers move into a first place tie in the Ivy League with Brown, both teams at 2-0 in Ancient Eight games. The Quakers will play four non-conference games in a row before returning the Ivy play for the final five games of 2014. Up next for Penn is No. 3 Maryland at Franklin Field on March 19 at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Karin Corbett needed 238 games to become Penn’s all-time wins leader, passing Anne Sage who won 151 in 317 over her 25 seasons ..Corbett broke the record in her 15th season as head coach at Penn … There have been 10 seasons of 10+ wins win Penn women’s lacrosse history, Corbett has been head coach for seven of them … Corbett has a .700 winning percentage in Ivy League play with a 70-30 record all-time … Penn is 50-2 under Corbett since Apr. 22, 2006 in Ivy games under Corbett … Corbett ranks fourth among current Ivy coaches in all-time wins and sixth all-time by any Ivy coach.