PHILADELPHIA – A new-look University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team was up to its old tricks in its 2016 season opener, defeating Delaware, 12-10, as head coach Karin Corbett improved to 14-3 all-time in season openers.
For a team with six new starters in the lineup, it was a pair of senior stalwarts who set the tone. Nina Corcroan had six points to lead the Quakers, scoring two goals and adding four assists. Her fellow co-captain, Lely DeSimone, had a hat trick to lead all Quakers in goals.
Penn never trailed in the game, but never quite was able to pull away from a Blue Hens team which entered with wins in its first two games. The Quakers netted the game’s first three goals, Corcoran scoring twice sandwiched around one from DeSimone to give Penn a 3-0 lead 5:53 into the game. Delaware would score the next two, establishing a pattern which would continue throughout the remainder of the game. Even when the Quakers would take a 12-7 lead – their largest of the game – with 17:32 to play, Delaware would score the final three goals of the contest to climb within two.
Casey Lyons scored her second of the game with 4:31 to play, cutting Penn’s lead to a pair. Emilia Lopez-Ona would win the ensuing draw, giving the Quakers a chance to run out the clock. A Penn offensive foul would turn the ball over with just under 3:00 to play in the game. At that point, the Red and Blue buckled down on defense, not allowing Delaware to take a single shot in the final three minutes, and a ground ball from Brooke Kiley off a Delaware turnover in the final ten seconds secured the win.
Britt Brown made nine saves in her debut in goal for the Quakers, including two on free position attempts. She wasted no time getting involved in her first game with the Quakers, making a point-blank save on Coley Ricci just 0:31 into the game. Katie Cromie would scoop up the ensuing ground ball – one of three in the game for her –and Penn would transition down field and eventually score the game’s opening goal.
Eight different players scored for Penn in the win. In addition to DeSimone and Corcoran, Caroline Cummings also had multiple goals as she scored the first two goals of her career. Brooke Kiley, Emily Rogers Healion, Iris Williamson, Sarah Barcia, and Catherine Dickinson also scored for Penn – Barcia’s goal serving as the game-winner.
Brown added two ground balls to her nine saves, and was bolstered by group of defenders eager to make their mark on the program. Senior Liz Gully stepped into a starting role for the first time in her career and made the most of it with three caused turnovers and two ground balls. Junior Megan Kelly, the most experienced member of the defensive unit, had one caused turnover and one ground ball. Sophomore Katie Cromie had a caused turnover to go with her three ground balls, and freshman Katy Junior had a caused turnover, one draw control, and three ground balls. Midfielder Brooke Kiley had two draw controls and three ground balls to go with her one goal.
The Quakers helped themselves with a 15-9 edged on draw controls. Emilia Lopez-Ona had five in her first career game after missing all of 2015 with injury. Caroline Cummings added four draw controls for a new career high.
The Quakers head on the road next weekend, taking on No. 5 Duke in Durham at noon.
Notes: Karin Corbett also improved to 15-2 all-time in home openers as head coach at Penn … Nina Corcoran’s four assists give her 73 for her career and move her into third place all-time at Penn … Corcoran’s six points give her 125 for her career and tie her for 12th all-time by a Quaker (Lori Frutkin, 1992-95).