Field Hockey Rallies to Beat Harvard in OT, 2-1

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the second time in as many Ivy League games so far this season, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team used a late rally to win a game in overtime. This time the victim was Harvard, as the Quakers took a 2-1 decision from the Crimson Saturday afternoon at the Harvard Field Hockey Stadium.

Penn is off to the best eight-game start in program history, at 7-1. The closest start came from the 1988 squad that eventually reached the NCAA semifinal round; they were 6-1-1 through eight matches. Saturday’s win also was Penn’s seventh in a row since a season-opening loss at Liberty, giving the Quakers their longest win streak since 2004.

After allowing a Crimson goal just 9:42 into the match -- Marissa Balleza finishing a penalty corner off a feed from Ellie Cookson -- the Quakers played from behind for nearly 60 minutes before finally cashing in.

The second half was when Penn particularly showed its teeth; the Quakers outshot Harvard, 11-2, in the period. That grit paid off with just 3:43 left in regulation, when Gina Guccione tipped in a cross from Rachel Huang

That sent the game to overtime, and for the second time in as many weeks the Quakers emerged victorious. Off a penalty corner, Elizabeth Hitti ended up with the ball near the left post and tried to wrist a shot over Harvard’s prone goalkeeper. The save was made, but the ball popped behind the goalie and Elise Tilton was waiting near the right post to push it into the open goal.

Penn outshot Harvard in the game, 21-9, as Liz Mata made five saves in the Penn goal.

Penn is home for its next two matches, starting Tuesday when the Quakers go out of conference to host Lafayette at 4 p.m. Next Saturday, the Red and Blue entertain Ancient Eight rival Dartmouth at noon.

Download: Penn08 (@Harvard).pdf