WASHINGTON, D.C. - Starting off the season with No. 10 American proved to be no easy task for the Penn field hockey team Friday night. American (1-1) proved worthy of its national ranking as it put three goals away in the early portions of each half to pace the 7-0 victory.
The Quakers (0-1) did not get off to the start they had hoped for when American jumped on top early with three goals in the first 16 minutes, but the Quakers tightened up the defense for the remainder of the first half before the Eagles snuck another goal in right before the break. In the second half, American scored another three goals in an eight minute span to complete its scoring. Overall, American used a very balanced scoring attack with seven goals scored by six different players on the night.
With a starting lineup that featured five freshmen seeing their first collegiate action, the Quakers did not get off to the start they had hoped for as just 2:45 into the game they found themselves trailing. Freshman goalkeeper Carly Sokach kept the score at 1-0 with a save around the four and a half minute mark and gave Penn a chance to get back in the game. Getting the nerves out of their system early, Penn went on the offensive shortly thereafter and worked the ball into the American defense and earned the early penalty corner. In the offensive zone, the Quakers managed an attempt at the net, but Julie Tahan's shot went wide. The Eagles managed to find the back of the net two more times in a seven minute span shortly after, giving them a 3-0 advantage.
After the third goal, the Penn field players tightened up defensively, thanks in large part to Sokach who made two saves off of penalty corners to keep the Quakers in the game. After holding the American offense at bay for the over 15 minutes, the Eagles earned another short corner and could not get the shot off, but managed to put another goal on the board with just over a minute left in the half.
The Penn defense held American off the scoreboard for over nine minutes to start the second half, but the Eagles put three on the board within eight minutes to extend their lead to 7-0. After another quick start to the half for the Eagles, Penn once again put the clamps on defensively as it did not allow a ball to reach Sokach for the next seventeen minutes. The only offense American could muster during that span was a shot that went wide.
American earned two penalty corners in the final minute of the game, but had its shot blocked on the first corner and freshman Helene Caniglia made a defensive save with time running out to prevent any further damage. For the game, Sokach finished with four saves in her collegiate debut, playing the first 49 mintues. Kieran Sweeney played the final 21 minutes in goal, allowing just one goal during that time.
The Quakers will now have a week to regroup and gear up for the next game as they head to Towson next Friday, September 9 for a 6 p.m. game.
Download: American box score.pdf