PHILADELPHIA - The opening Ivy League field hockey match of 2015 had a frenetic finish that saw the host University of Pennsylvania give up late lead, fall behind, come back to tie, and then win -- all in the span of 5:50 of game action.
The end result was a 3-2 victory for the Quakers, but it was the path to this win that said more about this team’s grit and determination than any final scoreline.
Penn (6-1, 1-0 Ivy League) held much of the play in the first half, outshooting the Big Red 9-4. The Quakers also scored the only goal of the half, as the nation’s leading goal scorer, Alexa Hoover, finished a short cross from Gina Guccione from the right side of the circle.
The change in ends turned into a change in momentum, as Cornell (4-3, 0-1) held the play in the second half and outshot the Quakers 9-4 in the period. The Big Red also had a staggering eight corners, after not getting one in the first half.
That momentum finally paid off with just 5:33 left in regulation, when Katy Weeks got a ball to Krysten Mayers who pushed a shot that got through Liz Mata’s pads and into the goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Cornell was rolling now, and just 2:11 later the Big Red got the lead. Off a short corner, Marisa Siergiej -- who had hit a post and a crossbar in earlier efforts -- finally found the back of the net on a flip shot from the top of the circle.
Penn looked done, but instead the Quakers rose up and emerged with the tying goal just 1:38 after falling behind as Gina Guccione pushed one past the Cornell goalkeeper. Regulation ended with the score tied, 2-2.
The overtime lasted just 17 seconds. Hoover got the ball and drove into the Cornell circle, where she was upended as she took a shot that was saved by the Cornell keeper. A penalty stroke was awarded, and Hoover converted to give Penn the dramatic victory.
Mata finished the day with four saves, as did Cornell's Kelly Johnson. Both keepers were also the beneficiaries of defensive saves, with Claire Kneizys providing the heroics for Penn.
Penn is off for eight days, before returning to Ivy League action next Saturday at Harvard. The Quakers and Crimson will face off at noon.
Download: Penn07 (Cornell).pdf