PRINCETON, N.J. – In the final game of the regular season, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team (11-6, 4-3) fell to No. 18 Princeton (10-7, 5-2), 6-1, on Saturday afternoon in New Jersey.
The match marked the regular season finale for the Quakers as the game served as a playoff for second place in the Ivy League. Both Penn and Princeton had identical records coming into the contest with a 4-2 record in Ancient Eight contests. With the win, Princeton claims second place in the conference standings while Penn earned third. Harvard earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by finishing first in the league by virtue of their regular season record.
Scoring began early in the contest as Princeton got on the board just six minutes in to take a 1-0 lead. The Quakers rebounded quickly however, and sophomore Sofia Palacios notched her seventh goal of the season on a penalty corner when she knocked in a deflection from Alexa Schneck to tie the game at 1-1.
The even score wouldn’t last as the Tigers made quick work off the ensuing center pass. 23 seconds later, Rachel Park and Ryan McCarthy connected to take a 2-1 lead at the 12:56 mark.
The hosts increased their lead to 3-1 just prior to halftime off a Maddie Bacskai score and a Sophia Tornetta assist from a penalty corner with 30:10 on the clock. The Tigers would carry that lead into intermission despite holding just a slight 3-2 advantage in corners in the first 35 minutes of action.
Coming out of the locker rooms, Princeton continued their scoring streak and increased their lead to 4-1 in the 46th minute when they made the most off a Penn defensive miscue.
With regulation winding down, another two scores in the final 1:11 of action increased the Princeton scoreline to 6-1 for the final. Ellen Dobrijevic and Cat Caro registered the final tallies of the afternoon as the Tigers sealed the win.
Princeton put plenty of pressure on the Quaker front line and held Alexa Hoover, Penn’s leading scorer on the season with 15 goals, to just three shots. On the defensive end, junior goalkeeper Liz Mata made five saves while Princeton’s Grace Baylis stopped three shots on goal for the win.
The Quakers conclude the 2016 regular season with an 11-6 overall record and 4-3 mark in the Ivy League, finishing in third place in the conference standings.