Box Score (PDF)
Post-Game Press Conference
NCAA Selection Show Link
PHILADELPHIA – History did not repeat itself.
Much like it did last year, Penn opened up an early lead on Dartmouth in the Ivy League Tournament championship game. Unlike 2012, Penn did not allow the Big Green to come back in the game, putting the clamps on Dartmouth’s secondary scoring in a 10-7 win to claim the school’s second Ivy League Tournament championship and earn an automatic bid to Penn’s seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament.
The Class of 2013 opened its Penn careers with an Ivy Tournament crown, and members of that group were instrumental in the win. Caroline Bunting had four goals, tying her career high and leading all Penn players in the game. She was 2-for-2 on free positions, part of a dominant day on the line for the Quakers. Fellow seniors Maddie Poplawski (two goals) and Meredith Cain (one goal, one assist) saw to it that the Class of 2013 accounted for 75% of Penn’s scoring in the game.
Penn was aggressive in the attack zone all game long, drawing 29 fouls from the Big Green and earning six free position attempts. Penn was good on five of those six eight-meter attempts, including 3-for-4 in the first half.
Poplawski was the first to score on a free position, drawing one 55 seconds into the game and popping in Penn’s first goal of the game. Just under the five-minute mark, Hana Bowers tied the game for the Big Green, picking up a good bounce for the Big Green from Liz Calby’s failed ground-ball scoop and going high with the score. That was the last time the game would be tied – and the last time Dartmouth would score for 29:36 of game play. Ferguson would make four saves and the Penn defense would cause three Dartmouth turnovers over that span.
At the same time the defense was blanking the Big Green, the offense was scoring five goals to build a 6-1 lead. Bunting started the run with a free position at 7:48, before Courtney Tomchik added a free position goal at 11:43. With just under 10 minutes to play in the half, Iris Williamson made two quick moves and dodged to goal, firing to give Penn a 4-1 lead. Bunting would make it 5-1 just before the break, striking with 11 seconds left in the opening period.
At the break, it would have been easy to recall the 2012 championship game where Penn held a halftime lead and was unable to hold on. This year, instead of a slight 3-1 lead, Penn had a more comfortable 5-1 advantage. Instead of going cold for 43:48 of game play, Penn would strike quickly in the second period to continue building its lead. Just as she did in the first half, Poplawski began a half scoring on a free position for the Quakers, hitting twine 1:59 into the second period.
The Big Green would not wilt, though, breaking its own long scoring drought with a pair of goals 3:13 apart. It was Calby first and then Bowers – just as it was all afternoon for the Big Green. The two combined for all seven goals and nine of ten points for the Big Green.
After Bowers scored to make it a 6-3 game with 22:22 to play, Penn stymied the rally with the next three goals of the game.
Nina Corcoran struck for just her second goal of the season 33 seconds after Bowers score, taking a quick pass off a Dartmouth turnover and bursting down field to score. Bunting would add the next two for the Quakers, her fourth of the game coming via a nice feed from classmate Cain with 17:23 to play.
Calby would do her part to give Dartmouth a chance, scoring three more times down the stretch. Her final score was Dartmouth’s only eight-meter goal of the game and came with 5:02 to play. The Quakers would win the ensuing draw, but Kristen Giovanello made a save for the Big Green to give her team possession.
Before the Big Green could clear their own defense end, Caroline Bunting picked off Dartmouth’s clearing pass to allow Penn to run more time off the clock. Dartmouth would force one more turnover, and Frances Bird took a shot with 2:17 remaining – but that was denied by Ferguson for her eighth save of the day and 20th of the tournament to set a new Ivy League Tournament record for saves over two games.
The final seconds were not without frantic moments, as Dartmouth pulled its goalie and looked to find a miracle. It appeared the Big Green would have another chance with 34 seconds remaining after a Penn foul, but the Big Green were offside. A throw resulted, and Meg Markham picked up that ground ball to run out the clock and send Penn’s sideline into celebration mode.
The Quakers are the first team to win multiple Ivy League Tournament championships (2010, 2013) and improve to 2-1 all-time in Tournament finals. Penn’s five wins in ILT play are most among any Ivy program.
Penn will await its NCAA Tournament opponent which will be named Sunday night via the NCAA Selection Show on NCAA.com at 9 p.m. EST. The Tournament has expanded to 26 teams for 2013.
Notes: Lucy Ferguson set an ILT record for most saves in a single Tournament with 20 (19 – Emily Leitner, Penn – 2012; Erin Tochihara, Princeton – 2011) … Caroline Bunting tied an ILT record for most goals in a championship game with four (Liz Calby, Dartmouth – 2013; Danielle Tetreault, Harvard – 2011) … Bunting’s four goals are also tied for most in a single game during total tournament play … The three-goal margin of victory is the largest in ILT history … Meredith Cain became Penn’s all-time leading scorer in ILT play with 15 points … She will graduate as Penn’s leader in ILT goals with 12 ... Caroline Bunting, Meredith Cain, Lucy Ferguson, Meg Markham and Maddie Poplawski were named All-Tournament ... Lucy Ferguson was named Most Outstanding Player in the Tournament ... Meredith Cain set a new Penn mark for All-Tournament selections with three.