PHILADELPHIA - No. 6 Penn took a huge step toward its first Ivy League title since 1982 Saturday, defeating No. 14 Dartmouth, 13-8, at Franklin Field The victory put Penn just onewin away from clinching at least a share of the Ivy League title.
The Quakers (11-1, 5-0 Ivy) beat the Big Green (7-4, 3-2 Ivy) for the first time since April 14, 1991, exactly 16 years to the day. It was the eighth win in a row for Penn.
The Quakers can clinch an NCAA bid and at least a share of the Ivy League title with a win over Princeton on Wednesday night. The Tigers were 19-5 winners over Harvard Saturday.
“It feels great,” said Head Coach Karin Brower. “Last year we played them well, but the difference this year was the confidence. The team was really confident all week, and that made the difference.”
Rachel Manson led all Penn scorers with three goals and an assist,and Becca Edwards had a great all-around performance with two goals, an assist, four ground balls, four caused turnovers, and a pair of draw controls. Whitney Douthett led all scorers with three goals and two assists for the Big Green.
Penn ripped off a season-high 40 shots as its offense came alive after falling behind 3-0 in the early going. Katherine Chiusano opened up the scoring for Dartmouth just 57 seconds into the game, and Sarah Szefi and Jen Pittman added their own, forcing Penn into an early timeout.
“We talked to them and said they had to slide more and just settle down,” Brower explained.
Manson, who notched her fourth-straight hat trick, scored her team’s first goal to start a 5-0 run. Chrissy Muller, Chelsea Kocis, Allison Ambrozy and Melissa Lehman followed as the Quakers took a 5-3 lead midway through the half.
The Big Green answered with another Szefi goal at 11:16 before Edwards and Ali DeLuca followed with two more goals to go up 7-4. Szefi scored her third moments later, but Penn caught a momentum boost when DeLuca converted a free-position opportunity six seconds from the half.
The second half didn’t see any slowdown in intensity. The Quakers came screaming out of the gate when Edwards scored two minutes into the half and then assisted on Manson’s second goal 13 seconds later to make it 10-5.
The two sides traded goals from there, as Douthett scored all of her three in the half and Kocis, DeLuca and Manson each added additional goals.
Statistically, Penn dominated the game, leading in shots (40-20), turnovers (10-21), and ground balls (19-9). The Quakers’ midfield transition was outstanding, blowing just one clear and disrupting nine of Dartmouth’s 21 clears.
Sarah Waxman made three saves and allowed eight in improving her season record to 11-1; Chelsea Kirk and Julie Wadland combined for 12 saves in net for the Big Green, withWadland taking the loss.
Penn will host Princeton on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the final regular season home game of the season.