Brennan's Five Goals Power No. 8 Women's Lax by Columbia, 13-6

No. 8 Penn at Columbia Box Score (PDF)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Any questions about whether a tough loss to No. 1 Maryland Friday night would carry over to Sunday's Ivy League tilt at Columbia were answered very quickly by No. 8 Penn as the Red and Blue stormed out to a 5-1 lead over the Lions and never looked back en route to a 13-6 win.

With the win, Penn improves to 8-2 this season and 4-0 inside the Ivy League. The victory is the 33rd in a row inside the Ancient Eight by the Quakers, three away from tying Harvard's Ivy-best 36-game streak from 1987-1993. The Red and Blue are the only 4-0 team in the Ivy League, joined as undefeated teams by 3-0 Dartmouth and 2-0 Princeton.

Junior Erin Brennan scored a career-high five goals for Penn - all of those goals coming in a remarkable first half for the former Ivy Rookie of the Year. She had six total points in the first half, tying her career high set against Harvard last season. With her six points, Brennan moves into ninth place all-time on the Penn scoring list with 131 career points. She is one point away from moving up to seventh place. All nine players ahead of her on the chart reached their rankings over the course of four seasons, while Brennan has needed just two and a half years to do so. In addition, Brennan's five goals give her 79 career goals for the Red and Blue. She is now tied with current Penn assistant Melissa Lehman for 11th all-time by a Penn player. Again, all 10 players ahead of her reached their totals in four full seasons to Brennan two-plus.

Giulia Giordano got Penn on the board first, scoring 4:34 into the game on an assist from Caroline Bunting. Just over three minutes later, Brennan struck for her first of the game on an unassisted tally.

Following a Columbia goal at the 10:11 mark, Penn went on a three-goal run in a span of 41 seconds to erase any ideas of a Columbia rally.

Maddie Poplawski struck first with 18:30 remaining in the first half, polishing off a Brennan pass. 19 seconds later, Tory Bensen took a Bridget Waclawik pass and deposited it behind the keeper. 22 ticks of the clock later, Brennan connected on her second of the day off an Alison Tatios feed. Poplawski's goal came off a Columbia turnover, and the next two were the result of clearly-controlled draws by Penn.

Penn again scored in quick succession in the final third of the opening period. Following a Meredith Cain tally with 7:09 to play in the first half, Poplawski won the draw, found Giordano who then fed Brennan for her fourth of the game just 21 seconds after Cain's goal. 52 seconds after that goal, Bunting passed off to Brennan who struck for her fifth of the half to give Penn a 9-2 lead it held at the break.

After a first half where eight of 11 goals came with an assist, the second half saw seven of eight goals come unassisted. Four of those goals were off the sticks of Penn players - from four different players.

Tatios scored her third of the season 2:20 in to give Penn a 10-2 lead, followed by Bensen's second of the game 8:30 into the second half to make the lead 11-3. After Columbia scored twice to make it 11-5, Poplawski scored her second of the afternoon with 10:13 left in the game. Bunting followed with 6:05 left to make it 13-5.

Bunting finished with a career high in points with a goal and three assists. Her four points erased her previous high of two points in a game that she had accomplished five times.

Poplawski added seven draw controls in the game to her two goals. She equaled the draw control total for the entire Columbia team as Penn had a 14-7 advantage in that category. Lindsey Smith had three ground balls to go with a caused turnover.

Emily Leitner made five saves in the win while Carly Churchill played the final 9:52, making one save in her collegiate debut. Karlee Blank had 14 saves in goal for Columbia, which was outshot by Penn29-21 and 27-12 in terms of shots reaching goal.

The Quakers head to No. 2 Northwestern next Sunday at 1 p.m. EST for a game with the Wildcats that will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

Download: Columbia.pdf