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PHILADELPHIA - The first meeting between No. 8 Penn and No. 13 Georgetown was everything it wasbilled to be. Tightly-contested and featuring both dazzling offensive plays and spectacular goaltending, Penn could not stop Sophia Thomas and suffered an 11-9 loss.
It appeared as if another furious comeback was in the works for the Quakers who closed within one goal, 10-9, with 5:44 to play but Thomas' sixth goal of the game with 3:05 to play provided insurance.
Courtney Tomchik had a free position chance with 2:11 remaining, but Barb Black made a save with the pocket to deny Tomchik and end Penn's three-game winning streak at home.
Meredith Cain had four goals for the Quakers, while Maddie Poplawski added a pair. Cain's third of the game tied things up in the second half, as she finished a Tomchik pass to knot the game at 7-7 with 14:12 remaining. That was the last time Penn was tied in the game, as the Hoyas scored three in a row in a span of 2:56 to pull away.
Poplawski made things interesting with a goal off a Bunting feed with 6:53 remaining, and Cain really made it interesting when she netted her fourth with 5:44 to play.
The offense took time to develop on both sides in the first half, despite a goal 11 seconds in from the Hoyas. Sophia Thomas took the opening draw and scored her first of three in the opening half to give Georgetown the early lead.
It took Penn almost 12 minutes to tie the game, but finally struck on a goal from Erin Brennan at 12:55. She tallied her 11th of the year on a 1v1 play, dodging to goal and tying the game. Shannon Mangini gave Penn its first lead 2:07 later on a free position goal, taking advantage of a start from right at the center of the arc.
The Hoyas knotted the game at 2-2 on a Caroline Tarzian goal at the 17:27 mark, also scoring on a free position. The next six minutes were scoreless before both offenses truly began to click to the tune of six goals in the final 6:12. Cain took a pretty pass from Caroline Bunting to give Penn a 3-2 lead, an advantage that was short lived as Thomas again scored quickly off a draw - this time needing nine seconds to square the game at threes. After Georgetown took a 4-3 lead,Cain scored her second of the half on a strong individual effort, beating three defenders to goal to tie the game, 4-4. Thomas gave Georgetown a lead with her third of the half with 3:41 left before assisting on Georgetown's sixth of the half with 2:24 left.
The Quakers held the Hoyas well below their season average in shots, limiting Georgetown to 20 shots as opposed to the 34.7 normally taken by Hoya players. Lydia Miller was a big factor in the defense giving Penn a chance to win, with three caused turnovers and six ground balls in the game while committing just one foul. Allie Martin had two caused turnovers and three ground balls while Taylor Foussadier added two caused turnovers as well to help the defensive cause.The Quakers head to Ithaca on Saturday for a showdown with Cornell (1 p.m.) which has first place in the Ivy League on the line. Both teams enter the game with 2-0 records inside the Ivy League.