WHAT TO KNOW
*Penn came from behind to post a 6-4 win over their Big 5 rival Villanova on Tuesday night in Conshohocken, Pa. The victory marked the fifth straight over the Wildcats in as many years for the Quakers
*Alexa Hoover tallied four goals on the evening to pace Penn in the win while Rachel Mirkin and Elise Tilton also provided scores.
*With the victory, Penn improved to 4-0 against their city rivals on the season to become unofficial city champions with the win (Saint Joseph's, Temple, Drexel & Villanova).
*Tonight’s 10 combined goals is the most the Quakers have seen this season and matches a 7-3 effort last met against Saint Joseph’s in 2015.
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Alexa Hoover tallied four goals in a wild come from behind victory as the University of Pennsylvania (10-5, 3-2) outpaced Villanova (4-13, 1-5) 6-4 on Tuesday evening in Conshohocken, Pa.
The victory marked the fifth straight in as many years over the Wildcats as Penn came from behind for the third straight contest to outlast the hosts on their home field. Hoover led the offensive effort, while Rachel Mirkin and Elise Tilton also provided goals for the Red and Blue as they broke a two game losing streak with tonight’s win.
Penn held a firm grasp on the stat sheet throughout the contest but couldn’t find the back of the net in the opening minutes of action. The pace began to heat up as intermission approached when Villanova made the most of two opportunities in the 32nd and 33rd minutes to take a 2-0 lead over the Quakers.
Sophomore Rachel Mirkin got the ball rolling for the Red and Blue when she punched in a goal off a rebound at the 33:33 mark as the two sides headed into the break. That score began a barrage of goals for Penn, who rattled off four unanswered tallies to bridge the first and second periods.
Hoover was next to join in the action to tie the game at 2-2, while Tilton gave Penn the 3-2 lead at the 40:06 mark. The Quakers capped their four goal run in the 45th minute when Hoover and Claire Kneizys connected off a Villanova goalkeeping error to make it a 4-2 contest in favor of the visitors with just over 25 minutes left in the match.
The two goal cushion wouldn’t last for Penn as the Wildcats began a comeback with 47:11 on the clock. Kristen Mericle’s two goals in the 48th and 52nd minutes once again evened the match at 4-4 when she capitalized off a rebound and penalty corner for the points.
No stranger to come from behind efforts, the Quakers refused to give up and found the game-winning goal in the 67th minute when Hoover tapped in a score for the 5-4 lead. Just over two minutes later, the junior forward added an insurance goal for the win off a corner and a Rachel Huang assist to solidify the match at 6-4.
The 10 combined goals tonight marks the most for Penn this season and matches a previous high set in a 7-3 result in 2015 against Saint Joseph’s. Hoover’s four goals tonight also marks a season-high and nearly matches her career-best five goals set in the same 7-3 win against Saint Joseph’s last season. Additionally, the win put Penn at 4-0 against their city rivals on the season (Saint Joseph's, Temple, Drexel and Villanova) as they became the unofficial Philly field hockey champions amongst their division I rivals.
Penn outshot their opponents by a 21-10 margin on the night, including a 17-6 lead in shots on goal, and held a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners for the match.
Penn goalkeeper Liz Mata made two saves in the victory while Villanova’s Erika Miller tallied 10 stops in the loss.
The Quakers return to action for their final home game of the 2016 season on Saturday, Oct. 29. Game time is slated for noon against the Brown Bears and will also mark the Senior Day celebration for Penn’s two graduating seniors: Claire Kneizys and Elise Tilton.