Field Hockey Edged by Yale, 2-1
PHILADELPHIA -Field hockey started strong against Yale, scoring the opening goal of the game just over over 18 minutes in and took a 1-0 lead into the half, but two second half goals by Yale would take down the Quakers at Franklin Field. On the first goal of the game, Julie Tahan recorded the sixth goal of her sophomore season, while Alex Iqbal was credited with the assist. For the game, Kieran Sweeney faced heavy traffic on her side of the field, but made eight saves on 10 shots on goal.
Despite Penn being the first team that was able to capitalize on a scoring chance, it was Yale that was able to create the first opportunities in the game. Just over a minute into play, Yale sent a shot wide but neither side would be able sustain an attack until the ninth minute when Yale had its first penalty corner chance. On that chance, Penn would hold the Bulldogs without a shot.
In the 11th and 15th minutes, Yale got off two more shots, but each went wide of the net. In the 17th minute, Yale earned its second short corner of the day, but the original shot was blocked and after the tip, the second shot went wide of the cage. In the 18th minute, Yale earned its third penalty corner, but was again held without a shot.
Penn settled down and gained its offensive footing in the 19th minute of play when Tahan took the feed from Iqbal and found the back of the cage for the sixth time this season. The goal was the ninth of the sophomore's career. For Iqbal, it was her second assist of the season. The goal also extended Penn's streak to 13 consecutive games that it has scored.
After the goal, Yale looked to bounce back in the 20th minute, but another blocked shot by the Penn defense would prevent the scoring chance. In the 23rd minute, Yale earned its fourth penalty corner of the half and would get a shot on goal, but Sweeney was in position for her first save of the game.
After Yale looked for the equalizer but was turned away, the Penn attack went on the offensive in the 27th minute of play when the Quakers earned their first penalty corner of the day. On the first corner, Iqbal took a shot off the insert but it was saved. The Quakers soon earned another penalty corner, but Tahan's second shot of the game was also saved. A third penalty corner was awarded for the Quakers and finally Yale was able to break the offensive pressure of Penn and clear its defensive zone.
In the 30th minute of play, another Yale penalty corner chance was not allowed a shot by the Penn defense. Yale had two final chances in the closing minutes of the half, but a save by Sweeney in the 32nd minute and another defensive block by Penn allowed the Quakers to keep the one goal edge heading into halftime.
Right from the start of play in the second half Yale came with heavy pressure on the Penn defense. Less than five minutes into the half, another defensive block by Penn stopped the first shot, while Sweeney made the save on the second shot off the tip.
The heat would really get turned up on the Quakers' defense as the Bulldogs earned six penalty corners from the 41st through the 45th minute. The first corner, Penn's defense held without a shot. On the second and third corners, Sweeney made the needed saves. On the fourth and fifth attempts the Quakers' defense held the Bulldogs without a shot again. However, on the sixth attempt, Yale would find the back of the net shortly after the ball was inserted for play, tying the game at one.
After the goal in the 46th minute, Yale earned another corner, but another solid display of defense held the Yale attack at bay. Penn earned its only short corner of the second half in the 49th minute, but could not go the shot away.
In the 51st and 52nd minutes of play, Yale and Penn each sent shots wide of the goal. In the 55th minute of play, Yale would not be denied again as it found the back of the net in the 56th minute with a perfectly placed shot in the upper right hand corner of the goal. The two Yale goals came just over 10 minutes apart from one another.
With the lead, Yale kept the pressure up and earned two more penalty corners in 60th and 64th minute. The Bulldogs could not get the shot away on the first try and Sweeney made another save to prevent further damage on the second short corner. These corners would be the last opportunities for either squad to get a shot on goal and Yale would hang on for the 2-1 Ivy League victory.
The style of playing between the two squads could not have been more different as Yale substituted 19 times in the first half and 18 times in the second. In contrast with Yale's 37 subs in the very physically played game, Penn only subbed three times in the first half and six times in the second half. For Penn, eight players - Caroline Olt, Mandy Epstein, MaryRose Croddick, Katherine Cook, Helene Caniglia, Kirstin Snyder, Iqbal, and Sweeney - played the entire seventy minutes, while no Yale player played the entire game and only three recorded over 60 minutes of playing time.
Emily Corcoran also played 57 minutes for Penn, while Katie Harrington and Amelia Cohen each played 41 minutes coming off the bench. Tahan finished the game with four shots, three on goal, while Iqbal added one more shot on goal in addition to her assist.
Penn will be back in action this Wednesday night at Rider for the final non-conference game of the season at 7 p.m. Ivy League play resumes next weekend when the Quakers head to Brown on Saturday.