PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team opened the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era in style on Sunday, defeating Seton Hall 3-1 at Rhodes Field.
On a day of firsts, it seemed only fitting that a pair of newcomers provided the offense for the Quakers. Sophomore Lauren Petite, a transfer from TCU, opened her Penn account less than four minutes into the match, and freshman Sasha Stephens took it from there with a pair of goals to provide the margin of victory.
Petite's goal was a beauty. Settling a ball that was headed to her feet, Stephen lofted a shot from about 30 yards out that caught Seton Hall goalkeeper Gina Maiorana well off her line. The shot went over Maiorana's head and then under the crossbar, and Penn had a 1-0 lead.
Just over 11 minutes later, Penn's lead was 2-0. Natasha Davenport took a shot that beat Maiorana but rang off the crossbar. Stephens pounced on the rebound, driving it right at the Seton Hall keeper who made the save but couldn't control the rebound. That left Stephens to tuck it in.
Just past the half-hour mark, Seton Hall stunned the Quakers and got one of the goals back. Eva Gonzalez fired a cross from the right side that Amanda Gulli one-timed back across the goal, under Kalijah Terilli's left side, to make it 2-1. It remained that way all the way to halftime.
Penn was resilient in the scorching heat, though, outshooting the Pirates 7-1 in a decisive second half. Stephens was the only player to connect, taking advantage of a Penn corner kick that hit off a Seton Hall defender and bounced right to her feet just 10 minutes into the period.
Penn outshot SHU in the match, 15-4, and forced Maiorana to make eight saves. Terilli went the distance for Penn and was not called upon to make a stop.
Penn returns to action twice next weekend, hosting Temple on Friday and then Mount St. Mary's on Sunday. Friday's match is the first half of a Rhodes Field doubleheader, with the Penn men following up against the University of Washington. All matches are free admission at Rhodes, and it you can't make it to Rhodes Field they will be available on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Download: Penn01 (Seton Hall).pdf