PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team remained unbeaten through five matches, drawing with neighborhood rival Drexel on Sunday 0-0 at Rhodes Field.
Penn is now 4-1-1 overall, with four wins and a tie since a season-opening loss to traditional Big Ten power Maryland. Drexel, which had a full week's rest compared to Penn -- the Quakers played Friday night -- moved to 4-4-1 on the season.
In a game that saw ebbs and flows on both sides, the teams both took 12 shots and had seven saves. Drexel had 10 corner kicks to Penn's eight, but other than that both teams could have walked out of here feeling like the tie was an unjust result.
The first half was a relatively tame affair, neither team threatening too much. The best chance came from Drexel, a shot from just outside the box on the right side that forced Penn goalkeeper Kitty Qu to leap high and push the ball over the crossbar.
Drexel had two excellent opportunities to draw first blood early in the second half, as well. Qu was caught off her line after losing a race to the ball at the right side of the box, but she got a hand on Drexel's shot from distance and that slowed it down enough for Tahirih Nesmith to get a foot on it. Her ball went to another Drexel player, however, and her shot looked like it was ticketed for the left side of the goal. Instead, Cami Nwokedi headed it off the line and the Quakers cleared without damage.
Near the hour mark, Penn had its best chance of the day. A cross to the front of the goal found Emma Loving, who headed a ball that seemed like it might sneak inside the far post. Instead, Drexel goalkeeper Christiana Ogunsami dove to her left and parried the ball wide.
Shortly after that, freshman Miranda Schwartz got off an effort at the top of the box that was re-directed off a Drexel defender. Ogunsami was wrong-footed as a result, but had the time to get down to her right and push the ball wide again.
Qu had arguably the best save in regulation with just over seven minutes remaining. Madison Dunn's shot from the top of the box looked like it was headed for the lower left corner, but the freshman dove to her left and pushed the ball wide, then pounced on it before a rebound could be left.
Both teams hit the crossbar in the extra periods. Sasha Stephens rocketed a volley that beat Ogunsami but rang off the bar in the first minute of the first OT session for Penn, and Drexel's Vanessa Kara had a free kick off the bar in the final minute of the second OT period.
Penn concludes this three-match homestand next Saturday with its Ivy League opener; the Quakers host Harvard at 4 p.m.