BOSTON - No wins entering the Ivy League season? No problem for No. 20 Penn as the Quakers opened their sixth consecutive defense of an Ivy League title in dominating fashion, 14-5.
Freshman Iris Williamson was a vision on offense, scoring a career-high four goals. Tory Bensen, Shannon Mangini, Lindsey Smith and Maddie Poplawski each added two goals for the Quakers who were in complete control of the first half to the tune of a 9-0 lead at the break.
Harvard came out of the break and scored twice, but the Quakers denied any semblance of a comeback with three consecutive goals - one each from Poplawski, Bensen and then Williamson.
While the offensive output is one indicator of the dominant nature of Saturday's game, attention also must be paid to goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson. The sophomore denied the Crimson early and often, making 14 saves over the course of the game - seven in each half. Three of her saves came on free position shots, leaving Harvard successful on just two in the game.
The Quakers entered the game averaging just six goals a game, scoring 18 over the opening three contests of the season. Harvard, meanwhile, was allowing 17.5 goals over its first two outings of the year and Penn took advantage. After taking just 12 shots and scoring five goals Wednesday, Penn sent 17 shots to goal in the first half on Saturday and 26 total shots were taken in the game. For a team which entered play shooting at a rate of .367, finishing at .538 for the game on Saturday was a welcome sight. On the flip side, Harvard shot .200 for the game, scoring its five goals on 25 shots.
McKenzie Hunt, a Massachusetts native, scored her first career goal for the Quakers in her home state, adding a draw control and two ground balls. Smith had four total points on two goals and two helpers. Meredith Cain had a goal and three assists, the third Penn player with a four-point game.
In addition to her two goals, Shannon Mangini was a force in the midfield with two draw controls, two caused turnovers and four ground balls. Allie Martin also had a hand in keeping Harvard at bay with two draw controls and a pair of ground balls.
The Quakers are now 1-3 overall, 1-0 inside the Ivy League. They return to action March 16 against Yale at noon at Franklin Field.