PHILADELPHIA - The No. 18 University of Pennsylvania women's lacrosse team fell behind in the early going and never got back into the game, eventually falling to No. 1 Northwestern, 17-8, Tuesday afternoon at Franklin Field.
The Quakers (3-1) suffered their first loss of the season while the defending national champion Wildcats (5-0) extended their winning streak to 26 games over two seasons. Becca Edwards picked up a hat trick for Penn, scoring her three goals in a seven minute span, while Kristen Kjellman, last year's national player of the year, led the 'Cats with six goals.
Penn seemed shell-shocked in the early going as Northwestern jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the first eight minutes. Ginna Lance made it a 3-1 game with Penn's first goal at the 20:49 mark of the first half, but the Wildcats scored four consecutive goals over the next ten minutes. Melissa Lehman hit her sixth of the season with 9:42 left before NU scored another, giving the 'Cats an 8-2 halftime lead.
Both teams jumped out to a frenetic start in the second half. Northwestern scored two goals in the first 1:45 before Emily Cochran scored 30 seconds later. Kjellman tacked on another just 12 seconds after Cochran's goal.
The Wildcats then ran away with the game, scoring five of the next six goals. Despite a late Penn surge that saw Edwards score three goals in a seven-minute span, it would not be enough against the top team in the land.
"We have to come out confident, and clearly we didn't," said Head Coach Karin Brower. "The biggest thing is to come with the confidence that we can win every game."
Sarah Waxman played all 60 minutes in taking the loss for Penn. She made 10 saves. Morgan Lathrop made six saves en route to earning the win.
Penn hits the road for the first of four away games this Sunday when it meets Towson at 1 p.m.