Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - It will be hard to decide a player of the game for Penn after its 12-8 win over Yale on Saturday in women's lacrosse because there are many options.
Many times, a player who scores four goals would be an easy choice. Freshman Iris Williamson scored four goals for the second game in a row, leading all Penn players in goals for the third match in a row.
Meredith Cain can answer the four-point outing from Williamson, though, with three goals and an assist. All of her points came in the second half, helping the Quakers expand upon a 4-3 halftime lead and pull away for the win.
Goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson was big at the key times, making eight saves, causing two turnovers and picking up two ground balls. Early in the second half with Penn ahead, 5-3, she made two quick saves on a free position and the subsequent rebound, starting transition which led to a quick goal from the Quakers to create true separation in the form of a three-goal lead.
However, those three would likely cede MVP honors to senior Caroline Bunting who had a career day. The veteran set a career high with seven points, scoring three goals and adding four assists. Her four helpers is also a career high, besting her previous total of three against Columbia in 2011. Bunting scored twice in the first half, then went for a goal and her four assists in the second half as Penn tried to take complete control of the game.
Despite holding a lead of 8-3 midway through the second half, the Quakers were never really clear of a feisty Bulldogs club, thanks to the efforts of Nicole Daniggelis who scored six goals to single-handedly keep Yale in the game.
The Red and Blue scored the first three goals of the game, scoring on their first two shots and three of their first four offerings. Bunting had two of the goals, Williamson the second as Penn pushed the issue early.
Yale would counter, answering with three in a row from Daniggelis over a nine-minute span. After the run, Penn found the important tie-breaking goal before the end of the half, Shannon Mangini picking up a ground ball after a save on a McKenzie Hunt shot and scoring with 4:21 remaining in the half.
The Quakers opened the second half with authority, scoring the first four goals of the half. Meredith Cain scored the first of three in the half 32 seconds into the period, winning the draw control herself and setting a play in motion which led to a Bunting pass Cain deposited. Cain repaid the favor just under seven minutes later with a pass to Bunting for her hat trick after the two big Ferguson saves. Willaimson would add her second of the game at the 41:26 mark, putting the moves on a defender, dodging past and firing on the run. Just 31 seconds later, Tory Bensen scored her first of the game off a pass from behind the cage by Bunting.
After Yale got one back, Williamson countered quickly with a free position goal at the 43:07 mark. Daniggelis would do her best to give Yale a chance, scoring three of the next four goals in the game, part of a 4-1 Yale run which closed the Penn lead to 10-8 with 3:19 to play.
Yale won the ensuing draw, but the Quakers forced a turnover which led to one final connection between Bunting and Cain, the fourth assist of the game for Bunting and third goal for Cain. Iris Williamson finished the scoring with 32 seconds left, sliding the ball into an open net.
Shots were even in the game at 24 apiece. A big difference came in the turnover game, Yale committing 14 to just eight for Penn. The Quakers finished with nine caused turnovers spread among eight players. On the draw,
Penn rallied after winning just two of eight in the first half to win eight in thesecond half and finish with ten in the game to 12 for Yale. Meg Markham Meg Markham had three draw controls in the second half and three ground balls, Meredith Cain finished with four draw controls.
Penn improves to 2-0 inside the Ivy League and has won two games in a row after an 0-3 start. Yale drops to 4-3 overall and 0-2 inside the Ancient Eight.
The Quakers will conclude a three-game homestand next week with a pair of games. Up first is Vanderbilt on March 21 at 2:30 followed by an Ivy League showdown with Cornell on March 24 at 1 p.m.