Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - What happened on Sunday afternoon at Rhodes Field was nothing short of a miracle. Of course, it didn't start out that way.
The Penn women's soccer team entertained a Georgetown team that came to Philadelphia with a 7-1-0 record -- all the wins via shutout -- and a huge boost of confidence coming off a 4-0 win against Villanova from Friday night. The Quakers, meanwhile, were trying to recover from Friday night's 0-0 tie with Saint Joseph's.
Things certainly looked bleak when the Hoyas' Caitlin Durkee took a free kick that was badly misjudged by Penn goalkeeper Caroline Williams and sailed into the goal from 35 yards out. That gave Georgetown a 3-0 lead with just under 15 minutes remaining -- especially considering the Hoyas had allowed only two goals through eight-plusmatches this season.
Enter Jessica Fuccello.
After being shut out in her last three outings, the senior forward exploded for three goals in a span of 8:23 that brought the Quakers back level at 3-3. She then almost had an assist on a breakaway in the first extra session, but the chance went by the boards and the match ended in a draw.
With the tie, Penn is now 3-1-2 overall and has played three straight overtime matches.
For Fuccello, the hat trick -- her second in five games -- gives her 28 career goals, which ties her for second on Penn's all-time list with Andrea Callaghan (1996-99). The program mark is 50 goals held by Katy Cross (2001-04), a number that is probably unattainable for Fuccello, who has nevertheless reached her record after essentially missing all of her junior campaign with an injury.
Georgetown (7-1-1) held a majority of the play through the first half, outshooting Penn 11-3. The advantage paid off at the 29-minute mark when Samantha Baker entered the match and took a corner kick that was headed home by Michaela Buonomo.
The Hoyas doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute on another corner kick. This time the kick was taken by Sara Jordan and landed at the feet of Catherine Cabot. Cabot's shot was deflected but came right to Camille Trujillo, who turned at the near post and put it just inside the post.
Durkee's goal made the score 3-0 with 14:44 left in regulation, but Fuccello re-started Penn's heart when she took a cross from Michelle Drugan and pushed a right-footed shot past Georgetown goalie Jackie Desjardin's left side into the far corner.
Things got interesting only 4:16 later, when Fuccello got open on a ball played in from the right side by Erin Thayer and again found the back of the net. With the Penn backers at full frenzy, she completed the comeback in high style -- a free kick from Laura Yu was mishandled by Desjardin, and Fuccello was able to turn a one-timer inside the post from about five yards out.
In the first OT, it looked like Ursula Lopez-Palm might end things in Penn's favor when she got a ball from Fuccello and broke in behind the Georgetown defense. However, Desjardin was able to cut off her angle and smothered the shot. The Hoyas turned the tables in the second extra stanza, putting three shots on goal, but Williams was equal to all three. Williams finished the match with 10 stops, as Georgetown outshot Penn 23-9 on the afternoon.
Penn opens Ivy League play with its next match, traveling to Harvard to take on the Crimson next Saturday. Kickoff at Ohiri Field is slated for 11 a.m.
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