No. 8 Penn at No. 2 Northwestern Box Score (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. - A furious second-half rally in the opening minutes of the final period had No. 8 Penn thinking upset at No. 2 Northwestern on Sunday, but the comeback fell short in a 14-10 loss at Lakeside Field.
Trailing 7-3 at halftime, Penn looked to junior Erin Brennan in the second half and the tri-captain came through with a natural hat trick in just 3:01 of game time to help Penn eventually tie the game at 7-7. The two teams then traded goals, with Meredith Cain scoring Penn's eighth to tie the game once again at 8-8 with 17:35 to go.
That was as close as Penn would come as the Wildcats scored five in a row to pull away.
Brennan finished with five points, moving seventh all-time on Penn's scoring list with 136 points. Her four goals move her to 10th all-time by a Penn player with 83 career scores. In addition to her goal, Tatios had three caused turnovers, two draw controls and two ground balls. Bunting also had three caused turnovers and two ground balls while Giulia Giordano completed the trio of Penn players with three caused turnovers as the Quakers held a decided 15-5 edge in caused turnovers.
The team stats favored Penn in the midfield overall with a 22-12 advantage in ground balls and a 14-22 edge in turnovers committed. The draw controls were in favor of Northwestern, 19-7, with Alyssa Leonard having eight of them.
Amanda Macaluso scored first for Northwestern, just 30 seconds into the game on a free position attempt after a shooting space violation was called on Penn. That goal was part of a 4-0 run for Northwestern to start the game.
On Penn's first true prolonged possession of the game, Bridget Waclawik earned a free position shot for the Quakers, scoring on her second go at it after Northwestern was called for leaving early. Her goal came at 19:18, a top-corner snipe by Waclawik.
50 seconds later, Maddie Poplawski scored again on a free position, gathering herself after a big collision eight-meters away from goal and bouncing a shot past Brianne LoManto to get Penn within two.
After Lydia Miller and Alison Tatios combined to stuff Shannon Smith on a rush from behind goal, Penn stormed down field and set up shop on the right side. Erin Brennan found Waclawik streaking down the middle and the pass spent no time in her stick before finding twine to get Penn within one at 4-3 with 16:14 left. Northwestern would score the final three goals of the first half to take a 7-3 lead to the break.
In the second half, Brennan got Penn the first goal of the half, scooping up a dropped ball and taking two steps before firing low left corner past LoManto to get Penn within three at 7-4.
1:14 later, Brennan came out from behind the cage, spinning around and finishing the 360 with a whip-shot past LoManto to get Penn within two.
Brennan completed the natural hat trick with a free position goal 5:38 into the second half. She scored her three goals in 3:01 of game play, earning the eight-meter at the top of the fan and using the position to her advantage.
48 seconds later, Waclawik completed her hat trick on the fast break following a Northwestern turnover, cashing in a Lizzy Price pass to tie the game at 7-7 with23:36 to play.
The Wildcats came back with two in a row to retake the lead, first scoring on a Cassera goal with 22:00 left and then on a Taylor Thornton free position with 19:46 left.
Meredith Cain then countered for Penn with 17:35 left, finishing a pass from Caroline Bunting. The play started with Bunting breaking in alone to goal, but the angle wasn't right, and she circled to LoManto's right and found an open Cain for the score.
The Wildcats scored the next five goals to pull away, building a 13-8 lead before the two sides traded goals to close out the game.
Leitner finished with eight saves and five ground balls in goal to go with a caused turnover. LoManto had nine saves for the Wildcats and one ground ball.
The Quakers, 8-3 overall, are back inside the Ivy League next weekend against No. 19 Dartmouth at 1 p.m.