PHILADELPHIA - Field hockey continued to get the offensive opportunities on Wednesday night, but Lafayette's Mara Kish was solid in goal and held the Quakers to a single goal. She allowed just the one to get past her of the six shots she faced on her way to picking up her second win of the year. For Penn, freshman Helene Caniglia scored the first goal of her Penn career with the help of Julie Tahan on the assist. In goal, Kieran Sweeney made her third consecutive start and made 10 saves on the night.
Lafayette (2-3) came out with the pressure early, getting off two shots in the first five minutes, but the Quakers blocked one and Sweeney was up to the task early on the other. The Leopards would get another pair of shots off in the next three minutes as well, but once again Sweeney denied any and all early scoring opportunities early on, keeping the game even.
Kirstin Snyder got Penn's first offensive chance of the night in front of the goal just 10 minutes into play, but Kish stopped the early Penn chance as well. Reversing field position, the Leopards got another chance, but Sweeney again preserved the scoreless game for the time being with her fourth save of the night, just 11 minutes into the game.
The backs on each side tightened up after getting into the flow of the game and neither side would manage a shot for the next nine minutes. In the 21st minute, Penn had a pair of opportunities, but a shot by Snyder went wide and Tahan's shot was saved by Kish. A couple minutes later, each side would alternate chances, but the stellar goalie play of Sweeney and Kish prevailed and the score remained 0-0.
In the 29th minute, Lafayette earned a pair of early penalty corners, but could not get a shot off against the Penn defense on the first attempt and their second shot went wide of the net. Penn would earn its first penalty corner two minutes later, but also could not get the shot off against the Lafayette defense.
With just over three minutes remaining in the first half, the Leopards earned their third penalty corner of the first half and after passing the ball inside the circle, Lafayette would get on the board first with a controversial goal that ricocheted off the post, but the referees indicated that the ball crossed the line and awarded the Leopards the goal and they carried the 1-0 lead into the half.
Lafayette used the momentum of that first goal to start the second half strong as well, earning a penalty corner just a minute and a half into second half play. The Leopards would convert the penalty corner and take the 2-0 lead. Undeterred, Penn took possession and earned a penalty corner of its own just two minutes after the second goal, but once again the Lafayette defense crashed the Penn offense and took possession, changing the field position around and earning another penalty corner at the opposite end. Once again, the Leopards would make the most of their opportunity and extended the lead to 3-0 with just over 30 minutes left to play.
Four minutes later, the Quakers would finally crack the Lafayette defense in the 44th minute when they earned the penalty corner in their offensive zone. From there, Caniglia took the shot inside the circle and beat Kish and the rest of the Lafayette defense, cutting the lead to 3-1. Tahan got the assist for her help on the play.
However, in the 53rd minute, Lafayette would stretch its lead back to three as Deanna DiCroce showed off her scoring prowess with her third goal of the season as she took on the Penn defense and worked around her defender before creating and capitalizing on her created shot for the unassisted goal, making the score 4-1.
With just 10 minutes to go, Penn created a flurry of offensive pressure surrounding another penalty corner, but Kyle deSandes-Moyer's shot went wide of the goal and Abigail Egan's shot on goal was stopped by Kish. The Quakers would then earn two more penalty corners in the span of a minute, but Alex Iqbal's attempt also went wide of the goal. Iqbal would get another attempt in the 67th minute and put her attempt on frame, but Kish was once again there to save any potential scoring opportunities.
The game would wind down with Lafayette trying to extend the lead with two more shots, but the first attempt was blocked by the Penn defense and the second shot in the possession was stopped by Mandy Epstein, who now leads the Ivy League in defensive saves with her second save in as many games.
That would be the final action of the evening as neither side could work the ball into their offensive zone and Lafayette came away with the 4-1 win, earning their second victory of the season. Penn continued to get chances from a variety of offensive threats as the nine shots, six of which were on goal, came from six different players.
The Quakers will be back in action this Saturday when the Big Red from Cornell comes to Franklin Field for the start of Ivy League play. This game will be the second of three consecutive home games that the Quakers will play at Franklin Field before they head out on the road again. Saturday's game gets underway at noon.
Download: Lafayette box.pdf