A memorable season for the Red and Blue.
Jan. 8, 2004
The 2003 season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Penn field hockey team. With only four starters returning and an inexperienced junior class, Head Coach Val Cloud thought she had a lot of work to do. But the right chemistry and the desire to win turned the season into a winning one. The Quakers, led by All-American Liz Lorelli and second-team All-Ivy defender Emily Farnesi, had its winningest season since 1997. The Red and Blue won seven-consecutive games from Sept. 27 to Oct. 26, losing only one contest in the month of October, which was the program's longest win streak since 1988.
Penn won the Philly City Six series during their unbeaten streak, going 5-0 against local opponents. The Quakers returned to the ECAC championships as well, earning a spot in the championship game against Ivy League foe Yale.
In 2003 the Red and Blue won four games in come from behind fashion. They won six games by one goal, and loss five contests by one goal, sixth-ranked Penn State was the only team to shutout the Quakers, while the Penn defense earned four shutouts of their own.
Head Coach Val Cloud scheduled several tough games in the opening weeks of the season, to prepare the Quakers for Ancient Eight action. The Red and Blue opened the season on Franklin Field against Delaware. The preseason top-25 Blue Hens scored four goals to top the Quakers, 4-1. Penn took to the road for the next two games - shutting out Saint Joseph's, 1-0, before falling to Harvard, 3-2, in overtime. Penn faced Lafayette next, who was riding high from upsetting No. 6 Penn State in their last game. The Leopards broke open a 1-1 game when Jennifer Stone scored with just over five minutes remaining in the contest.
The Red and Blue hosted Cornell in just their second League contest of the season. Penn scored three goals, while shutting out the Big Red. No. 6 Penn State ruined the Quakers chance for back-to-back wins, topping the Quakers, 2-0.
Soon Penn's luck began to change. Penn's, 2-1, come-from-behind victory over cross-town rival La Salle was the first of Penn's seven-straight victories. The Red and Blue came from behind to top Villanova, 3-2, with Lorelli's two-goal effort. Penn went on to top Dartmouth, 2-1, and Drexel, 3-2, at home. On the road they faced a tough Temple team who were gunning to break the school record for most shutouts in a row. The Quakers put a stop to that streak winning, 2-1. The Red and Blue traveled to New York City to face off with Columbia. Penn had an offensive outburst scoring six goals and holding the Lions scoreless. Lorelli netted two goals, while freshman Tracy Statter scored her first collegiate goal. The Quakers returned home to top Georgetown, 3-2, and extend their win streak to seven.
On Oct. 26, Penn was going for their eighth-straight win, which would have tied the school record. The Quakers fell 2-1 in a nail biter to a resilent Yale team. The Red and Blue came back to blank West Chester, 2-0, for their tenth victory of the season. Penn's last three games were against strong Ivy League opponents. Freshman Elizabeth Schlossberg had a breakout performance against Brown, making 10 saves in the cage but the Quakers couldn't hold on and fell, 2-1. No. 11 Princeton was next up for the Quakers. Penn held the Tigers scoreless in the first half. A very intense game which featured incredible defense by both teams ended with three goals in the last seven minutes of play. The Tigers scored with seven minutes remaining to add to their 1-0 lead. Lorelli added a tally on the next play, but a late goal by Kelly Darling put the game out of the Quakers reach. After a week off, the Quakers were awarded a trip to the ECAC Championship game for a rematch against Yale. Penn struck first on a first half goal by Lorelli to take the lead, but the Bulldogs rallied back to scored two unanswered goals for their second-straight ECAC crown.
Rewriting the Record Books
Junior forward Liz Lorelli had no idea that her goal against Delaware in the first game of the season would be the first of her record-setting 20 tallies in 2003. The Greenwich, Conn., native scored in 15 of Penn's 18 games, including a nine-game scoring streak this past fall. Her 20 goals this season set a new single-season goals record, while her 43 points established a new single-season points record. She led the Quakers and the Ivy League in goals, points and game-winning tallies (five). She currently stands third on Penn's all-time goals list with 34 tallies and remains just outside of the Red and Blue all-time top-five in points with 75.
The mechanical engineer and applied mechanics major finished the season ranked 11th among Sivision I student-athletes in goals scored, fifth in goals per game (1.111), ninth in points per game (2.389) and 17th in points. She became only the eighth student-athlete in Penn field hockey history to garner All-American honors and the first since Sue Quinn in 1995, when she was named third-team STX/NFHCA All-American.
She garnered several other awards as she was a unanimous selection for first-team All-Ivy, first-team STX/NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Region All-American, All-Philadelphia and Most Valuable Player for the Philadelphia 6 City.
Eight different Quakers scored Penn's 35 goals in 2003. Sophomore Cara Calahan was second on the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists for 17 points. Sophomores Lea Salese, Kristen Gray and senior Marianne Rogers each found the back of the cage twice. The Quakers went 5-0 this season when forwards Calahan and Lorelli both scored goals.
Junior Sara Shelley set up several plays for the attack, dishing out nine helpers, including a single-game record of three assists against Columbia.
Penn returned only one starting defender in the backfield this fall, but no one could tell. Juniors Bernice Ravache and Kate Murphy along with sophomore Kelly McFadden stepped up to make a major impact for the Red and Blue. Under the leadership of four-year starter Emily Farnesi, the talented trio and goalies Elizabeth Schlossberg and Amanda Jacobs held their opponents to only 28 goals in 2003. Their 1.55 goals per game average ranked 19th in the country.
Farnesi made four defensive saves during the season for a total of seven for her career. Ravache came up with a huge defensive save against Princeton for her first collegiate stop.
In the cage
Sophomore Amanda Jacobs and newcomer Elizabeth Schlossberg shared time in the cage this season. Jacobs recorded two shutouts in nine appearances, while Schlossberg netted her first collegiate shutout against West Chester and made 67 saves in 15 appearances.
A look ahead
The Quakers showed great amount of heart and desire on the field in 2003. Under the guidance of captains Bernice Ravache, Kate Murphy and Sara Shelley the Red and Blue's chemistry teamed up with a talented core of student-athletes will prove to be the key to success in 2004.
Written by Heather Palmer