PRINCETON - A 6-4 lead at halftime had No. 6 Penn unsure about the outcome of its game at rival Princeton on Wednesday, but a 6-1 advantage in the second half pushed the Quakers to a 12-5 win over the Tigers. With the win, the Quakers improve to 6-0 in the Ivy League, securing at least a share of the Ivy League championship. Dartmouth defeated Harvard in Cambridge, 11-9, earlier in the day to delay Penn's outright celebration.
Senior Megan Smith, playing in her final regular-season game against Princeton, had her first career multi-goal game with a hat trick. She scored the first goal for Penn 3:06 into the game. With 3:32 left in the first half, Smith scored again - netting the game-winner. Late in the game, she added her third as part of a 5-0 Penn run to blow open a two-goal game.
Smith was not alone in potting a hat trick. Sophomore Erin Brennan had three goals and an assist, matching her goal total from last year's game with the Tigers. Two of Brennan's goals came during that five-score stretch in the final 19:37 of play.
However, combined those two players were still only one point away from the effort put forth by Ali DeLuca.
In her final game at Princeton Stadium, DeLuca factored in directly on half of Penn's goals. She finished with two goals and four assists for six points - the third time this season she has reached that mark. DeLuca had a goal to go with a pair of assists in each half, content to set up her teammates as Princeton's defense hoped to contain Penn's all-time leading goal scorer. All four of her assists led to goals from different Penn players.
The game opened with a pretty quick pace, with five shots finding the back of the cage in the first 10:44. Four of those goals came from Penn sticks, but the Tigers did not relent.
Lizzy Drumm scored twice in the final 16 minutes of the opening half and Allison Behringer added a goal with 14 seconds left in the half to send the game to the break 6-4 in favor of the Quakers.
Courtney Lubbe opened the scoring in the second half with her first of two in the game. Jenna Washabaugh answered 32 seconds later for the Tigers, but that was all the offense left in Princeton for the night.
Brennan had a hand in three-straight for Penn to widen the gap, scoring twice and dishing out one helper. Her second goal of that run came 10 minutes after her first as Penn slowed things down to work the clock in its advantage.
Emily Szelest had five saves on 10 shots on goal in the win for the Quakers. Four different players - DeLuca, Maddie Poplawski, Emma Spiro and Carolyn Pollard - had two draw controls. Poplawski had three ground balls while four players had two. In all, 12 of the 15 Penn players to see time in the game had at least one ground ball.
The Quakers have a chance to clinch their fourth-straight outright Ivy League championship on Sunday against Brown at 1 p.m. on Senior Day at Franklin Field.