PHILADELPHIA - Another stifling defensive effort and a hat trick from freshman Sarah Barcia led the University of Pennsylvania women's lacrosse team to a 9-4 win in its Ivy opener against Harvard on Saturday at Franklin Field.
Penn (3-1, 1-0 Ivy) improved to 48-2 in its last 50 Ivy League contests and head coach Karin Corbett tied a school record with her 151st career win at Penn. Harvard fell to 2-2 on the year and 1-1 in Ivy play.
It was the second straight defensive battle for the Quakers, who topped Rutgers, 6-3, at Franklin Field on Wednesday. Lindsey Smith put Penn on top with the game's opening goal at the 24:22 mark, but neither team found the back of the net for the next 15 minutes of play.
That's when Barcia found her scoring touch. She had just one goal in her first three collegiate games, but scored twice in a span of 52 seconds to give the Quakers a 3-0 lead with 8:54 left in the half.
The Quakers nearly took a shutout into the break, but Harvard's Marisa Romeo, who scored all four goals for the Crimson, got the visitors on the board just 2:13 before the break. That closed Penn's lead to 3-1 at intermission.
Romeo scored just 2:31 into the second stanza and then traded goals with Barcia to get the Crimson within 4-3 with 20:37 to play.
Five minutes later, Smith scored her second of the game off a free position, but Romeo countered for Harvard and Penn's lead was just 5-4 with 15:08 remaining.
But the Crimson never scored again. Meanwhile, Catherine Dickinson assisted senior Tory Bensen to give Penn a two-goal lead again with 11:37 to go. A few minutes later, Nina Corcoran and Lely DeSimone added back-to-back goals and Bensen capped the scoring with 2:21 left.
Penn outshot Harvard, 19-18, and held a decisive 12-3 edge in draw controls. Brooke Kiley led the Quakers with seven draw controls and junior Meg Markham had the other five. Markham also led the Quakers with seven ground balls and four caused turnvoers. Bensen added a pair of assists to accompany her two goals. Ferguson finished with nine saves.
The Quakers return to action at Yale on Saturday at 1 p.m.