PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team defeated Cornell, 1-0, behind Kerry Scalora's penalty kick late in the first half.
With the win, Penn improved to 5-1-3 overall and 1-1-0 in Ivy League play. Cornell is now 6-3-1, 1-1-0.
Ini a match that was played primarily in the midfield -- the Quakers and the Big Red combined for just 15 shots the entire night -- it was a seemiingly harmless play late in the first half that made all the difference.
With just 1:36 left before the break, the ball was on the left side, hit a Cornell defender near the touchline, and the whistle blew.
Scalora immediately stepped to the spot, took the ball, placed it, and banged it in. It was her fourth goal this season, tying her for the team lead, and first from the spot.
The shorthanded Penn defense took over from there. Missing starting middle defenders Tahirih Nesmith and Claire Walker due to injuries, head coach Darren Ambrose put Haley Cooper and Lauren Hammond in their spots. For Hammond, it was her first collegiate start.
They did the job. Kalijah Terilli was never really tested in the match, stopping the two shots on goal in the second half in fairly routine fashion. At the other end, Kelsey Tierney made three stops -- also routine -- for the Big Red.
Penn is back at home on Sunday afternoon, hosting Fairleigh Dickinson in a non-conference match at 2 p.m.