PHILADELPHIA - It was a "Cinderella ending" to Senior Day, according to head coach Val Cloud. In their last home game of the season, the Quakers were honoring their five seniors with flowers before the game, and hopefully, a big Ivy League win. And it couldn't have ended in a more appropriate way -- senior Kristin Connelly, in her first collegiate start, scored her first collegiate goal, and it just happened to be the game-winner as Penn beat Brown, 1-0.
Seniors Connelly, Nyssa Liebermann, Tracy Statter, Elizabeth Schlossberg, and Melina Tsui all started for the Quakers in their last game on Franklin Field. And right from the start, they made it clear they wanted to walk off the field with a smile and a win. Penn maintained possession for most of the first half with good ball control, and consistent passing and shooting. In the first half, they outshot the Bears, 7-2.
Twenty minutes into the first half, the Quakers took one of six corners in the half. But this one was a corner to remember. Statter passed the ball in, and junior Meghan Rose passed it along to sophomore Margaretha Ehret. Ehret took a shot from the top of the arc that looked like it was headed wide right. But Connelly got her stick up, and the ball deflected off her stick, into the bottom left corner of the goal. Penn went up 1-0, and never looked back.
The Bears could never get up enough momentum to make a move on the Quakers, as Penn's backs, Nicole Levi, Tsui and Melissa Black, stopped anything that came their way. Goalie Schlossberg never even saw aBrownshot on net, in her 70 minutes in goal.
Coach Cloud waspleased with the win.
"This is the best win of the whole season," Cloud said. "I'm just so proud of thegirls.This was one of the best team efforts I've ever seen. We're not a high-scoring team, but we've managed to come out with an undefeatedmonth of October. We've really come together as a team, andwe get better every game."
The team was also happy that it was Connelly that scored the game-winner, in one of their most important games of theyear.
"Kristin is amazing," Schlossberg said. "It was the perfect ending for all the seniors to have her score the goal. She's worked so hard all these years."
It will be a game that Connelly will never forget.
"It felt great," Connelly said after the game. "It's exactly the way I'd want to end the season. It couldn't have gone better."
In the end, the Quakers outshot the Bears, 17-3, and also held an 8-1 advantage in penalty corners.
Brown goalie Kristen Hodavance made ten saves in the loss, keeping her team in the game throughout.
Eight different Penn players had shots in the win. Juniors Meghan Rose and Jamie Calahan led the way with four each, while freshman Kathryn Rose, Ehret, and Nina Ferrier added two apiece. Connelly, Statter, and junior Nicole Black all added one each.
With the win, the Quakers improved to 9-7 overall, and 4-2 in the Ivy League. Going into the game, Penn and Brown were tied for second with 3-2 records. But with today's win, the Quakers took solid hold of the second place spot.
Next weekend,Penn will travel to New Jersey to take on Princeton, theNo. 1team in the league. The Tigers clinched the Ivy title last week, when they beat Harvard, but they'll have to face off against a Penn team that hasn't lost a game since Sept. 30 and is in the midst of a six-game winning streak.
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