PHILADELPHIA Penn entered the game on a three game winning streak and with victories in six of its last seven games. Unfortunately for the Quakers, Drexel was not interested in becoming another notch in the win column for Penn. The Dragons used three goals in a 12 minute span to end the first half and start the second to rally from an early 1-0 deficit and defeat the Quaker, 3-2 at Franklin Field.
It looked as if Penn carried the momentum from an exciting victory over Delaware into this game as the Quakers came out aggressively, searching for the first strike of the game. Penn was rewarded for its effort when Christina Ferrier took a Jamie Calahan pass and found the back of the cage 2:28 into the game to give Penn a 1-0 lead. The score was Ferrier’s first of the season.
The score remained 1-0 until the 14:30 mark when Christina Mastropaolo evened things up. Amanda Kicera picked up a loose ball in front of the net and found Mastropaolo open in the circle. She wasted no time and slipped the ball past Alanna Butera for the Dragons’ first goal of the game.
The second half opened with Drexel carrying play. It took only one minute for the Dragons to take the lead. Sarah Gostomski gathered an errant insertion off a corner and slid a quick pass to Jennifer Bolger. She fired a quick shot from just inside the circle that Butera was unable to corral.
The Quakers did not have time to adjust to a one goal disadvantage before the lead became two. Less than a minute and a half later, Mastropaolo tallied her second goal of the game when she again found herself open in front of the net. The play developed after Butera was unable to clear a rebound and all Mastropaolo had to do was tip the ball into the open net, giving the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
Trailing by two, Penn threw everything it had at the Dragons, taking eight shots in the half. Drexel was up to the challenge, blocking shots and clearing space for Dragon goalkeeper Colleen McAndrew to make clean saves.
The Quakers did connect for a goal with 35 seconds left in the game when Kathryn Burke took a Meghan Rose pass and scored her first collegiate goal. The comeback ended there though as Penn was unable to generate another scoring chance and watched the Dragons celebrate a 3-2 victory.
Penn was playing its fifth game in 11 days and fatigue may have been a factor. Head coach Val Cloud felt that any fatigue may not have been the physical kind.
“Emotionally, we were so high after the Delaware game,” she said, “To turn around two days later and have a game against a tough opponent like Drexel is difficult. I was not surprised that we played the way we did.”
The intense effort of the Dragons was not lost on Cloud.
“They beat us to every loose ball,” she continued, “They made us scramble and play totally out of sync. All credit to them. They took control of the game.”
It is another quick turnaround for the Quakers as they travel to New York, N.Y. on Sunday for a crucial Ivy League contest against Columbia.