Penn at Cornell Box Score
ITHACA, N.Y. - No. 7 Penn found itself in a battle on Sunday, as Cornell kept the game close until midway through the second half. After the Big Red tied the game, 6-6, with 17:39 to play, the Quakers appeared to flip a switch and rattled off a string of goals to close out the game.
Giulia Giordano scored twice in a span of 2:19 to break the tie and her teammates followed with seven more goals over the final stretch of the game to give Penn a 15-6 win. The Quakers up their record to 8-1 with the win and are now 3-0 in Ivy League play. Cornell falls to 2-6 and 1-2 in the league.
In this case, the final score truly does not equate with the way the game transpired over the first three quarters of the game.
Before the nine-spot to close the game, Penn did not lead by more than two at any point in the contest. In the first half, after Ali DeLuca scored twice in 2:26 to give Penn a 3-1 lead, Cornell rallied with two of its own to square the match with 1:01 left in the half. In fact, the Big Red won the ensuing draw control after the tying score and had a chance to take a lead into the break, but the Penn defense swarmed to the ball and caused Cornell to bobble the ball a few time and the Big Red were not able to even muster a shot in the final minute.
In the second half, DeLuca struck first for Penn on a pretty unassisted play. She found herself surrounded by two Cornell defenders, with a third closing in. DeLuca beat the rush and broke in on goal unmarked to give Penn a 4-3 lead. Jessi Steinberg answered for Cornell 1:03 later. Steinberg again countered for Cornell at 20:50 after Emma Spiro scored at 22:29 to give Penn another advantage.
Erin Brennan scored a goal-scorer's goal 1:21 later for Penn, faking to her left to draw contact from a defender. After the push, she whipped to her right and fired a shot past Kyla Dambach. That lead didn't last long either, as Katie Kirk intercepted a clearing pass from Kaileigh Wright and broke in alone on goal to square the game 6-6.
Giordano scored her first goal of the game with 14:42 remaining, finding just enough space to Dambach's left off a Brennan pass. 2:19 later, Giordano scored again to give Penn breathing room. Her original shot was saved by Dambach, but the ball carried its momentum into the cage.
Those two goals started a steamroll effect for Penn, as they began to win draw controls and carry possession. With 11:43 to play, Spiro found open space after a defensive breakdown by the Big Red and Giordano spotted her open and Spiro converted. Maddie Poplawski and Courtney Lubbe scored 25-seconds apart to give Penn an 11-6 lead and the Quakers pulled away. In all, Penn scored six times in the final 8:25 to secure the win, the 25th in a row in Ivy League play.
DeLuca finished the game with five goals and an assist. She now has 126 career goals, three away from tying for the top spot on Penn's all-time goal scoring list.
Spiro had four goals, equaling her career-high. Giordano had two goals and two assists while Lubbe also had two goals. Brennan had three points (1G-2A) to continue her streak of scoring in every game she has played as a collegian (25 games.)
Emily Szelest finished with four saves, two in each half, for the win. Wright had three ground balls and a caused turnover on defense while Poplawski and Lubbe each finished with two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
The key for Penn in the second half was gaining control of draws. Cornell out-drew Penn in the first half, 5-2. In the second half Penn held a 9-7 advantage, including 7-2 after the game was tied 6-6. The Quakers were also able to clear the ball more effectively than Cornell, going 7-9 compared to Cornell's 5-12.
Penn is off until Friday when the Quakers host No. 2 Maryland at 7 p.m.