BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Sophomore Elizabeth Hitti scored off a penalty corner with no time remaining in Friday night's season-opening game, propelling the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team to a dramatic, 5-4 win at Lehigh.
It seemed a fitting way to end a wild contest that saw Penn take a 3-1 lead after giving up the first goal; give up two goals late in the first half for a 3-3 tie; then take the lead early in the second half before again surrendering a goal with less than four minutes to play.
Lehigh (0-3) got on the board first Friday night, as Caitlyn Mitchell scored on a hard shot from the top of the circle just nine minutes into the contest. Penn needed nearly eight minutes to equalize, before freshman Elise Tilton -- playing her first college game -- beat goalkeeper Julia Ward to the left corner of the cage. Emily Corcoran had an assist on the goal.
Julie Tahan finished a pass from Amelia Cohen off a penalty corner to make it 2-1 at the 20-minute mark, and then 10 minutes later Corcoran made it 3-1 when she scored on a rebound from another penalty corner. However, Lehigh drew level with a pair of goals just 1:02 apart before the halftime whistle. The first came from Matissa Glass, and the second one was scored by Mitchell with just 12 seconds remaining in the period.
Penn regained the lead eight minutes into the second stanze, as freshman Jasmine Cole finally converted among a string of shots by the Quakers. Hitti had an assist.
Lehigh made it 4-4 with 3:59 left in regulation, Gabby Tofig scoring with an assist going to Erin Ricker. However, that set the stage for Hitti's winner, with Sunny Stirewalt getting credit for an assist.
Penn outshot Lehigh, 24-12 -- Tahan and fellow captain Alex Iqbal led the way with five apiece -- and forced Ward to make eight saves (with another defensive save thrown in). For Penn, Carly Sokach went the distance and made four stops.
Penn is off until next weekend, when the Quakers are at Saint Joseph's Friday and then Bucknell on Sunday. Friday's game will start at 3:30 p.m., while Sunday's tilt will start at 1 p.m. in Lewisburg.