PHILADELPHIA The Penn women’s soccer team played its first midweek game since classes started Wednesday afternoon against George Mason, and it showed.
The Quakers (4-1-1), so impressive in their last two wins, seemed to be off from the outset against the Patriots. The normally crisp passing was not there, and a series of mental errors made Penn seem to be its own worst enemy.
“We did not play well in the first half at all,” Penn head coach Darren Ambrose admitted afterward. “We did not need to say anything to the players at halftime, because they knew they had played badly. But give them credit, because they came back strong in the second half.”
Did they ever. The Quakers got goals from freshman Natalie Capuano and senior Jennifer Price to knock off Mason, 2-1. It was Penn’s third win in a row, all on Rhodes Field; in fact, the Red and Blue have gone 8-1-2 in their last 11 non-conference matches dating back to last season.
Capuano’s goal came in the 57th minute, benefit of Jenna Linden. Linden’s looped a shot over GMU goalkeeper Kasey Davenport that was ticketed for the goal, something that Capuano made sure of as she got credit for her third goal of the campaign.
George Mason knotted things back up in the 73rd minute when Danielle MacDonald sailed a corner kick in from the right side that bent inside the far post. The goal ended a scoreless streak of more than 342 minutes for Penn keeper Jessica Keeley, and was the first goal allowed by the Quakers during this three-match homestand.
Penn answered back just more than five minutes later with the winner. Rachel Fletcher took a ball along the left side ahead of a Patriot defender, then sent in a cross that senior Jennifer Price was able to slide and get a foot on. The ball popped into the netting just under the crossbar, and the Quakers were able to escape with the win.
Keeley finished with three routine saves in picking up the win, as Penn outshot GMU 9-5 on the day.
Penn will open Ivy play Saturday at Harvard. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at the Crimson’s Ohiri Field.
Written by Mike Mahoney, director of athletic communications