DURHAM, N.C. - No. 10 Penn entered its regular season finale looking to continue its hot streak heading toward the Ivy League Tournament. For the first 30 minutes of the game, it appeared as if the Quakers might knock off the No. 7-ranked Duke Blue Devils in Durham, but the offense went cold in the second half as Duke scored a 12-5 win.
Penn was within two goals at the break on the strength of two Erin Brennan goals, but in the second stanza Penn was held without a goal as the Blue Devils finally ended what was a dry spell for both teams out of halftime. Neither team scored for the first 14:08 of the second period, but once Duke netted a goal with 15:52 to play, the Blue Devils went on to score four more for the final of 12-5. Penn managed just three shots in the second half, each one turned aside by Duke goalkeeper Mollie Mackler.
The Red and Blue had the first lead of the game when Brennan scored the game's first goal on a free position shot in the third minute of play. Courtney Tomchik scored unassisted eight minutes later for a 2-1 Penn lead, but the Blue Devils rattled off four straight and never again trailed in the game. After the run, Penn found itself in a 5-2 hole, but out-scored the Blue Devils 3-2 to finish the half and trailed just 7-5 at the break. Lydia Miller and Meredith Cain each scored for Penn over that 10-minute stretch to end the half, with Brennan adding another. For Miller, the goal was the first of her career.
Emily Leitner made nine saves in the game, including six in the first half as she kept Penn close. She was all over the stat sheet, causing two turnovers and scooping up six ground balls.
The Quakers will host the 2012 Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament starting on May 4. After running through the tiebreakers, the outright champion Quakers will host Harvard in a semifinal at 8 p.m. Dartmouth and Cornell will open the semifinals at 5 p.m. The two winners will advance to play for the Ivy League's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships on Sunday, May 5 at noon.