PHILADELPHIA - The Penn field hockey team put up a strong first-half fight, but couldn't sustain as No. 4 Princeton defeated the Quakers 7-0 on Senior Night Friday at Franklin Field. Penn finished the season 5-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play, while Princeton heads to the NCAA tournament after a perfect 7-0 Ivy League record and 14-2 overall mark.
Entering the contest as the definite underdogs, the Quakers showed no signs of weakness as they held control of the ball for much of the first five minutes of play. When the Tigers did take possession, the Red and Blue's tenacious defense made spectacular plays against Princeton's flurry of shots inside the arch to keep Princeton off the board.
Wearing the Quakers down, the Tigers finally managed to squeak one past keeper Kieran Sweeney on Princeton's tenth shot of the game, coming from leading scorer Kathleen Sharkey in the 20th minute. Less than two minutes later Michelle Cesan punched in a rebound from Christina Bortz for the 2-0 lead.
During the intermission, Penn honored the 2004 team, who defeated Princeton on a no-time-remaining penalty corner to win the League championship. That was the last time Penn has won the title and Princeton has not.
After the break, Princeton got into a groove tallying five unanswered goals to gain the 7-0 victory. Julia Reinprecht added one on a hard outside shot in the 39th minute, followed by Sharkey's second goal of the evening on a back handed flip over Sweeney's head. Cesan recorded a hat trick, scoring two more goals consecutively, and Katie Reinprecht capped the night with an unassisted score.
Penn managed just one shot in the second half as Princeton outshot them 25-3 for the game. The Quakers also suffered a 9-0 penalty corner disadvantage. Sweeney had a busy night in the cage, finishing with eight saves.
Tonight was the last game in the careers of Katie Burke, Katie Rose, Kelsey Tahan, Katie Moran, Sarah Warner, and Stephanie Ragg. Despite the end result, the Quakers battled from start to finish with the six seniors making the most of their final moments donning the Red and Blue.