No. 8 Penn 10, No. 3 UNC 7 Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - Emily Leitner made nine saves in a gigantic effort for No. 8 Penn as the Quakers defeated No. 3 North Carolina, 10-7, at Franklin Field on Saturday.
She made six of those saves in the first half, and came through with some huge stops in the final 30 minutes as Penn broke a 4-3 halftime lead into the final margin.
Three players had two goals for Penn in the win - all three underclassmen. Caroline Bunting continued her hot start with two more scores, giving her five goals in two games. Classmate Meredith Cain added a pair of goals - both coming in the first half - while freshman Tory Bensen had two goals for her first career strikes.
North Carolina forced Penn to play from behind early, taking two leads in the first half and then rallying from a 4-2 deficit to take a 5-4 lead with 25:55 left to play. The Quakers, undaunted, scored the next four goals to reclaim an 8-5 lead with 10:42 to play. Erin Brennan started the run with a goal at 19:03 before Bunting rattled off back-to-back free position goals. Her first came with 18:02 to play and she scored again with 17:13 left in the game. After six-plus scoreless minutes, Giulia Giordano added more insurance with 10:42 to play.
1:16 later, Corey Donahoe scored her third goal of the game to close the Tar Heels back within two, but Bensen then took over.
She scored her first collegiate goal with 7:12 left on the clock, answering after her first shot went wide. Then, just 1:09 later, she took a Giordano feed and found the back of the cage for the second time, extending Penn's lead to 10-6. Kara Cannizzarro added a free position goal for UNC with four minutes left, but Penn took care of the ball in the waning moments and secured the win.
The win is Penn's third in four years over UNC, and makes Penn 2-for-2 at Franklin Field. The Quakers are now 2-0 overall in 2011, while UNC falls to 3-2.
The stats were even overall, with shots 21-20 in favor of the Tar Heels and turnovers showing 10 for UNC and 12 for Penn. The Quakers had the edge on draws, 11-8, a big factor in protecting the lead as Penn had a 7-4 edge in the second half.
That brings us back to the save totals. Leitner's nine saves on 16 shots on goal was her finest performance as a collegian, highlighted by a point-blank save on Donahoe with 11:36 left in the game and Penn holding on to a 7-5 lead. She came up with an equally brilliant stop with 10:12 to play, protecting an 8-5 lead. For good measure, she also added in a ground ball and a caused turnover.
Freshman Lydia Miller had three caused turnover on defense for Penn while Giordano had four drawn controls and three ground balls. Lindsey Smith and Lily Posner each had two ground balls for the Quakers.
Donahoe had a four-point game with three goals and an assist for UNC. Abbey Friend added two goals on two shots. Overall, UNC was 4-for-5 on free position shots.