Field Hockey Wins Overtime Thriller, 3-2

Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – Kathryn Rose scored 7:36 into overtime as Penn defeated previously unbeaten Cornell, 3-2, at Franklin Field.

The goal came off a penalty corner. Rose inserted the ball to Margaretha Ehret, who set up Nicole Black. Black fired a shot on goal that was tipped by Rose into the back of the net, setting off a wild celebration for the Quakers.

With the win, Penn is now 2-4 on the season and has evened its Ivy League record at 1-1. Cornell falls to 3-1 overall with a 1-1 Ivy League record.

Physical play was the name of the game as both teams fought for position, utilizing their bodies to separate themselves from defenders. Three green cards were issued for rough play, one each to Cornell’s Belen Martinez and Mandy Malsberg as well as Penn’s Melissa Black.

Head coach Val Cloud was not surprised by the physical nature of the game. “We expect physical play from Cornell. We are used to it. I am glad we were able to withstand it and keep possession when we needed to,” she said after the game.

Nicole Black agreed with Cloud. “Cornell is very aggressive,” said Black, “We had to step in front of the ball to keep them at bay.”

Helena Haas opened the scoring for Cornell when she took a Martinez pass and slipped it past Alanna Butera, giving the Big Red a 1-0 lead at 18:26 of the first half.

The lead lasted only four minutes as Jamie Calahan tied the game, knocking in a rebound of a Rachel Eng shot. The goal was Calahan’s second of the season.

With the score tied 1-1 at the start of the second half, Cornell came out firing. They earned two quick penalty corners. On the second one, Kate Thompson tipped in a Martinez shot for a 2-1 Cornell lead just a minute into the second half.

Trailing against an opponent that prides itself on speed and physical play, Penn was up against a difficult challenge attempting to tie the game. The Big Red were keeping their legs fresh, substituting frequently. Penn finally applied pressure with less than 11 minutes to go in the game, tilting the field toward Cornell’s end and holding possession of the ball.

The pressure was too much for Cornell who committed a foul in the circle, allowing Penn to take a penalty corner with under ten minutes to play in the game. Kara Bolger was open in front, but denied on her first shot. Showing resiliency, Bolger gathered her own rebound and this time converted, scoring her second goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2.

Franklin Field came alive at that point, with the home fans attempting to rally their team to the victory. Cornell had a sizeable crowd as well, and was looking to complete a crucial road victory. Both teams had chances down the stretch, but defense prevailed. Butera and Cornell goalkeeper Shannon Prescott made saves at vital parts of the game, as did defender Melissa Black who got her stick on a Martinez shot with 7:32 left in the game.

With less than six minutes to play, Sarah Warner made two consecutive outstanding defensive plays when she cornered Cornell attackers on the right side and prevented them from crossing the ball into the circle. Ehret then followed with the defensive play of the day, poke checking an entry pass that would have sprung a Cornell forward all alone on Butera.

At the start of overtime, both teams came out looking for the win immediately. Cornell had two shots sail wide in the first two minutes. Penn had unsuccessful attempts to get the ball in the circle, Cornell matching them with solid defensive pressure.

At the seven minute mark of overtime, Penn earned the penalty corner that ultimately led to the victory. Penn has had trouble converting corners this year, and with the usual inserter Jamie Calahan on the sidelines, it was Kathryn Rose’s job to start the play.

Penn has now won its last seven overtime games dating back to 2004.

After the game, Cloud was extremely pleased with the game and enjoyed the moment. “What an awesome win,” Cloud said, “This is huge momentum for the Ivy season. They are a different team to play against with their speed. We competed with them all day.”

Black was also excited about the victory. “Sometimes it is hard to come back in games. We did it twice today. We proved we have it in us,” said the senior.

Then with a smile, she added, “Plus, it is always nice to put a blemish on their season.”