Women's Lacrosse Stuns Harvard in OT, 14-13

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA -
It is hard to imagine a more opportune time to score your first career game-winning goal than the moment Courtney Tomchik picked on Saturday for No. 9 Penn. The sophomore scored her fourth goal of the game with 24 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Quakers a 14-13 win over Harvard in a wild game at Franklin Field.

After leading 2-1 4:41 into the game, Penn did not hold the lead again until Erin Brennan scored 1:14 into overtime to give the Quakers a 13-12 lead. Along the way, the Red and Blue had to erase a five-goal deficit, something not fully accomplished until Caroline Bunting scored with 1:06 left in regulation to tie the game at 12-12.

The Quakers trailed, 6-3, at halftime and made a brief comeback early in the second half to climb within one at 6-5 after goals from Tomchik and Maddie Poplawski 1:06 apart early in the half. The Crimson halted Penn's run, though, with Micaela Cyr scoring one of her three goals in the game and Melanie Baskind then scoring three in a row to rebuild Harvard's lead to 10-5, with 16:23 to play.

From that moment on, Penn outscored Harvard, 9-3, to win its first Ivy game of the season. Tomchik got the rally moving with a free position goal with 14:49 to play. Then, Caroline Bunting took over.

Bunting factored in on five of Penn's next six goals to send the game to overtime. First, she stopped short on a drive and dished the ball to a wide open Shannon Mangini who scored her first of the year with 12:55 to play. Two minutes later, she set up Tomchik for her third of the game. Off the ensuing draw, Bunting picked up the ball and headed to goal, finishing the play with a full 360-degree spin and shot with 10:04 to play. After Danielle Tetreault scored on a free position to regain Harvard's two-goal lead, Erin Brennan went 1v1 just 4 seconds later, bringing Penn within a goal at 11-10.

The next draw went to Harvard, but Taylor Foussadier came up with one of her two crucial caused turnovers down the stretch to strip Baskind of the ball and send Bunting downfield. Off the left hash, she used a clever run from Tomchik to evade defenders and fired top shelf to tie the game, 11-11, with 5:55 to play.

Tetreault regained the lead for Harvard with 2:54 to play on a free position attempt, but Foussadier again stripped Harvard off the ensuing draw and gave Penn a chance to tie the game.

After Brittany Swanson adeptly pulled back on a bad-angle free position, she sent the ball to Brennan who found Bunting again on the left side. Bunting drove to goal and was fouled, leading to a free position which she deposited with 1:06 to play. The Quakers had two looks to win the game in regulation, but a Tomchik shot sailed high with 10 seconds left and Brennan's last-ditch shot was denied by Weiss with three seconds left.

In overtime, Bunting won the opening draw control and the play worked down low to Brennan who circled from behind the cage to score the first goal of extra play 1:14 in. Jess Halpern tied the game once more with a goal down the right side, knotting things up with 1:20 left in overtime.

Maddie Poplawski one the draw, her final of a game-high six, and Penn looked for the last shot. Tomchik found the ball in her stick with less than 30 seconds to go and she stepped into a shot from the left hash which beat Weis and proved to be the game winner. Bunting won the resulting draw and Penn was able to run out the clock.

The Quakers had many standout performers in the game, led by Bunting who finished with four goals and two assists for a new career high of six points while adding five draw controls. Tomchik's game-winner was part of a four goal day with one caused turnover. Poplawski had two goals with her six draw controls and a caused turnover. Foussadier had her pair of caused turnovers and two ground balls as part of a solid day defensively with classmate Meg Markham who had two draw controls and a ground ball. Lydia Miller came up with two big draw controls in the second half to spur the comeback.

Not to be overlooked is the play of Erin Brennan. The senior scored three goals in the game, the first of which was her 100th career goal. She is just the seventh player in Penn history to record 100 career goals and she now sits on 102 career scores.

Emily Leitner finished the game with seven saves and three ground balls, coming up big down the stretch to allow Penn the chance to mount its comeback.

Baskind finished the game with four goals for Harvard while Cyr and Tetreault each had three. Kelly Weis made six saves for the Crimson.

The Quakers are now 3-1 this season, and 1-0 inside the Ivy League. Harvard falls to 2-2 overall and 0-2 inside the Ancient Eight.

Penn is back in action March 17 at Yale.

Download: Harvard.pdf