TOWSON, Md. - Field hockey definitely had its chances on Friday night versus Towson, but the Tiger defense, led by goalkeeper Christina Siwiec, weathered the Penn attack and came away with the 2-1 victory. Penn (0-2) out-shot Towson (2-3) by a 10-7 margin, with each side putting five on goal, and drew 10 penalty corners, while only conceding four, but the Tigers made the most of their opportunities to come away with the victory.
The two sides started out the game going back and forth for the first couple of minutes before Towson had its first chance, but the shot was blocked and the Quakers started their offensive attack. Nine minutes into the game, Penn had its first opportunity to take the early lead, but could not convert the short corner chance. Ten minutes later, the Quakers had another penalty corner, but once again could not connect. In the 23rd minute, Kirstin Snyder got the first Penn shot of the game off, but it went just wide of goal. After the ball spent large chunks of time in the Towson defense, the Tigers reversed fields and Caitie Barnwell found the back of the net on a crossing pass.
Undeterred, Penn drew another short corner just two minutes after the goal and Snyder would get another shot off, but was denied by Siwiec, on one of her four saves on the night. Keeping the ball in the offensive half, Emily Corcoran then took a shot at net, only to have it blocked. Less than a minute later, Penn had three consecutive penalty corners, with Kyle deSandes-Moyer getting the only attempt at goal, but the shot went high. Half a minute later, Penn forced another pair of penalty corners with Julie Tahan getting a shot off, but the Towson goalie was again up to the task.
The Quakers definitely closed out the first half strong with five penalty corners coming in a span of fewer than four minutes, but could not beat the goalie. This would come to haunt them early on in the second half when Towson had the short corner chance and converted on Kim Schnell's third goal of the season, putting the Tigers up 2-0. Allowing consecutive goals was a problem in the game versus American and Towson got another penalty corner a minute later, but the shot went wide and head coach Colleen Fink, taking no chances, called timeout to try and settle the team down.
Coming out of the break, Tahan took another run at the net, but her attempt went wide. In the 46th minute of play, the Tigers had a pair of chances, but Kieran Sweeney, who was making her first start of the season, was up to the task as she made a pair of saves to keep Penn in the game. Two minutes later, Tahan would not be denied any longer as she finally cracked the Towson defense on a tip-in that came from a Snyder pass just outside the circle, cutting the deficit to one with just over 20 minutes to play.
Ten minutes after her first goal, Tahan was looking for seconds, but was unable to find the back of the net. With less than five minutes remaining, Alex Iqbal came up from her defensive position to take a shot on goal. Her attempt missed the goal, but Penn got another short corner shortly thereafter. With just over three minutes remaining, Snyder took the shot off the penalty corner, but Siwiec's fourth save of the night would preserve the lead and ultimately the victory for the Tigers.
Despite the end result, the Quakers showed promise throughout the defeat. Five different players got a shot off, led by Tahan with four and Snyder with three. Sweeney made three saves on the evening and now has a goals against average of 2.31 after finishing the American game and playing the entire duration in this game. In addition to Sweeney, six other players - MaryRose Croddick, Caroline Olt, Mandy Epstein, Iqbal, deSandes-Moyer, and Snyder - played the entire 70 minutes.
The Quakers will be back in action this Sunday at 1 p.m. against Saint Joseph's. The game will take place at what has become Penn's home away from home, Drexel's Buckley Field.
Download: Towson Box.pdf