No. 4 Penn 10, Cornell 6 Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - No. 4 Penn figured out its issues with the start of games, jumping out to a 5-0 lead on visiting Cornell, but needed three late goals to pull away from the Big Red for a 10-6 win.
The win improves Penn to 7-1 overall in 2011 and 3-0 inside the Ivy League. In the process, the Quakers improved their win streak inside the Ancient Eight to 32 games.
Erin Brennan and Maddie Poplawski each had two goals in the win for the Quakers, with Brennan leading all Penn players with three points.
Penn had the 5-0 lead 12:49 into the game, scoring twice on free position attempts in the opening eight minutes as Bridget Waclawik and Lindsey Smith scored on eight-meter offerings. For Smith, the goal was the first of her career. Less than a minute after Smith's strike, Caroline Bunting took an Erin Brennan feed and scored her 10th of the season, doubling her output for the entire 2010 campaign. Just past the ten-minute mark, Giulia Giordano added a fourth goal for Penn from Tory Bensen and a Shannon Mangini score at 12:49 gave Penn the 5-0 lead.
The Big Red did not give in, answering with three goals in a row and six of the next eight total goals in the game to get back within one at 7-6 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Jessi Steinberg was a big factor in the run for Cornell, scoring three times while Libby Johnson had a goal and two assists. Katie Kirk had Cornell's other two goals as the "Big Three" for the Big Red lived up to their billing.
Brennan scored her first of the day with 6:49 left in the first half to stop Cornell's momentum for the moment and give Penn a 6-3 lead after Cornell had scored three in a span of six minutes to get back in the game. In the second half, after Steinberg had scored early to make it a 6-5 game, Poplawski earned a free position attempt and connected to give Penn a two-goal lead at 7-5.
Eight minutes after Poplawski's goal, Kirk scored her second of the game from Johnson to once again make it a one-goal affair. Just under three minutes later, Brennan drove down the right side and beat Kyla Dumbach on a beautiful individual effort to add some insurance for Penn. Alison Tatios followed with 5:06 to play, finishing off a pretty feed from Giordano behind the cage and Poplawski ended things with a goal against pressure defense from the Big Red which featured Dumbach roaming from the crease in an attempt to cause turnovers.
The Quakers had a 22-14 edge on shots, including a 14-6 lead in the first half. Emily Leitner was called upon to make five saves in her seventh win of the season - four of those stops coming in the second half. A big advantage for Penn was on draw controls where the Red and Blue doubled up Cornell, 12-6 and a dominating 9-2 in the first half.
Tatios had four of those draw controls to lead Penn while Poplawski and Meredith Cain each added three. Lydia Miller had four groundballs for the Quakers while Bensen and Bunting each had two caused turnovers. Kate Ivory was a force on defense for Cornell with five ground balls and three caused turnovers.
The Quakers are off until April 1 when they head to College Park, Md. and No. 1 Maryland - the defending national champions who knocked Penn from the 2010 NCAA Tournament last May.