PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team was down at halftime against Drexel on Wednesday night, but used a dominating second half to defeat the Dragons 5-1 at Buckley Field.
Penn is now 11-2 on the season, and finishes with a perfect 4-0 record against city schools with wins over Drexel, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova. (The Quakers do not play La Salle this year.) The Dragons fell to 6-9 overall.
Alexa Hoover, who entered the week leading the nation in goals per game, aided her cause with three more tallies on Wednesday night. It was her fifth hat trick of the season.
Drexel stunned everyone, including Penn goalie Liz Mata, as Amy Ferguson rocketed a shot from the right top of the circle. The ball stuck inside the far post and, less than five minutes into the game, the Dragons had a 1-0 lead.
It took until the second half, but Penn struck back with two quick goals to take the lead. The first came when Hoover re-directed a shot from sophomore Gina Guccione, and the second was scored by freshman Selena Garzio off a short corner.
Hoover completed her fifth hat trick of the season after that, re-directing a long shot from Elizabeth Hitti and then finishing a nice give-and-go with Hitti off a counterattack. Garzio closed out the scoring off another penalty corner, rocketing a shot from the top of the circle. Claire Kneizys and Elise Tilton had assists on the play.
Liz Mata had five saves in the Penn goal to get the win.
After playing three games on the road, Penn returns home to Ellen Vagelos Field for two of its last three Ivy League games. The first comes Satuday, when the Quakers host Yale at noon.
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