PHILADELPHIA - When the ball went over the end line during Friday night's Penn-Harvard women's soccer game for a Quaker corner kick, junior Brianna Rano did what she always does - she made the long run from her right back position to the opposite corner to take her right-footed, inswinging corner.
Classmate Kerry Scalora, who forced the corner kick -- and who usually takes Penn's corners from the other side, where her left-footed efforts are inswinger -- did what she always does when the corner comes from the left side: she put the ball down and ran in to set up in front of the goal.
This corner was different than most others, though. This time, there was less than 20 seconds left in regulation in a tie game.
From the far sideline, head coach Darren Ambrose screamed for Scalora to quickly kick it in, and for Rano to join her teammates in front of the Crimson goal. Certainly there was not enough time for Rano to run over, kick it, and give her team a chance to score, right?
It turns out, there was.
Rano kicked it, and in front of the goal junior Kaitlyn Moore skied above the rest of the pack -- including Harvard goalkeeper Bethany Kanten. Moore headed it toward goal, where no Harvard player was around to keep it out.
The clock read 3.9 seconds as the ball crossed the goal line.
And with that, Penn (4-3-0, 1-0-0 Ivy League) emerged from Friday evening's Ivy League opener with a scintillating, 1-0 win over the defending champion Crimson (3-3-1, 0-1-0). Given that the winner of this game has gone on to win the league each of the last three years, it was certainly a start that the Quakers were looking for in this Ivy campaign.
It was Moore's first collegiate goal, and she became the eighth different Penn player to score this year -- coincidentally, the Quakers have scored eight goals. Penn is now 12-2-3 in its last 17 Ivy League matches.
It was probably a just result on this night. Penn held a good amount of the play on Friday night, and certainly created the better chances. In the first half, Erin Mikolai got her body on a ball from another corner -- Rano's -- but before the ball crossed the line a Harvard defender cleared it away. Minutes later, Erin Beck had a chance to put Penn up in front, but while her header went over a committed Kanten it was not strong enough to get into the goal, and a Harvard defender was able to easily control it and sweep it away.
In the second half, Scalora had a couple of nice opportunities, one a right-footed shot that tested Kanten to her left and another inside the box that was right on the Harvard keeper. At the other end, Sarah Banks made her only save on a long free kick that nobody else was able to get to. Penn outshot Harvard on the night, 11-8.
Penn returns to action on Sunday, hosting Boise State in a non-conference game at Rhodes Field. Kickoff is set for noon.