No. 4 Women's Lacrosse Holds off Hofstra, 6-5

Penn vs. Hofstra Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - No. 4 Penn had its trademark defense back on Wednesday, holding visiting Hofstra to just five goals. The part that made the Quakers hold their breath was the fact that Penn's offense only managed six scores of its own.

However, in the end Penn's defense won out, causing Hofstra to commit a foul in the attacking zone with 1:13 to play, allowing Penn to run out the clock and escape with a 6-5 win.

The Quakers improve to 3-1 on the season while Hofstra falls to 3-2.

Penn scored three times in the beginning of each half, and appeared to be in control both times. The start of each half was almost identical, with Penn needing 7:27 to score three times to start the game and then using just 7:54 of clock in the second half to repeat the feat.

Carolyn Pollard got Penn on the board 2:22 into the game, converting a Giulia Giordano feed. The assist was one of two on the day for Giordano.

Sophomore Erin Brennan doubled Penn's lead at 7:10 off a pass from Courtney Lubbe. Just 17 seconds later, before the Quaker faithful had finished spelling out "P-E-N-N" the Red and Blue found the back of the cage again - this time on Lubbe's fourth goal of the season.

It appeared as if Penn may run away with the game, but Hofstra went to its leading scorer on its first real sustained attack of the game. Corrine Gandolfi scored her 13th of the season at 11:59 to cut Hofstra's deficit to two. That was how the first half ended, as both goalkeepers came up with big saves. After the first 30 minutes, Hofstra's Mary Cuddihy had seven saves while Penn's Emily Szelest came up with four. Each keeper stopped at least one free position attempt in the opening half, with Cuddihy turning aside a pair.

The Quakers opened the second half with three more goals, to take a 6-1 lead. Ali DeLuca scored her 13th of the season - and 113th of her career - with 26:44 to play on a nice set play with Giordano. 1:09 later, Lubbe scored her second of the game, finishing off a DeLuca feed. Giordano was the next to capitalize on a DeLuca pass, scoring her fifth of the year with 22:06 to play.

Hofstra would not go away, and made its desire to mount a comeback known immediately. On the ensuing draw control, Gandolfi picked up the ball and raced downfield for an unassisted goal just 13 seconds after Giordano had struck.

For the next 13 minutes, the teams traded possessions - and turnovers - with 10 cough-ups between the two sides. With 9:23 to play, Cuddihy made a save on a DeLuca attempt and sent her team downfield in transition. The Quakers committed a foul and Hofstra earned a free position attempt. Jill Maier converted for her first goal of the season with 8:23 to play, cutting Penn's lead to three.

43 seconds later, K'leigh Vanaman added a fourth goal for Hofstra to bring the Pride within two. Penn called a timeout, hoping to halt Hofstra's momentum and appeared to do so after winning the ensuing draw control.

However, Cuddihy picked off a Maddie Poplawski pass and at 6:00, Maier scored her second of the game on a give-and-go with Sandy Wasserbach.

Hofstra caused on final turnover by Penn with 5:11 to play and moved in looking for the equalizer. The Pride worked patiently, hoping that Penn's defense would allow an opening. However, the Quakers clamped down and allowed the Pride to get just one shot off in the final 5:11 - a Maier attempt that sailed wide. Finally, with less than 1:30 to play, Hofstra had to push the issue and went into traffic in front of Szelest. Penn's defense converged and Hofstra committed the foul which gave Penn possession. The Quakers successfully executed the clear and held on for their third win of the season.

Szelest finished with eight saves for Penn while Cuddihy ended the game with 10 saves. Cuddihy also had an active stick on defense, reaching out to cause three turnovers. Maddie Poplawski and Barb Seaman led Penn with two caused turnover apiece. The Red and Blue also had multiple players in on groundballs after turnovers, with Giordano leading the way with three. She was followed by five different players who each picked up two.

The Quakers are home again on Saturday, opening their defense of the Ivy League championship at noon against Harvard.

Download: Penn vs Hofstra.pdf