Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - Anyone who came to Rhodes Field Friday night expecting to see a repeat of last year's 6-0 Penn women's soccer win over Cornell quickly learned that that wasn't going to happen.
The Big Red came to play, and the result was a spirited contest that ended with the Quakers eking out a 2-1 decision in front of a boisterous home crowd.
Penn improved to 1-1 in the Ivy League, 5-2-2 overall with the win; Cornell's hard-luck campaign continued as the Big Red fell to 0-2 in league play and 1-8-1 overall.
How different was Friday night's contest from a year ago in Ithaca? Consider that Cornell outshot Penn on the night, 12-10. Consider also that the Quakers were probably lucky the Big Red only scored once; they had some outstanding chances.
The first came early in the match, when confusion among the Penn defense allowed Cornell to get a point-blank shot that a retreating Caroline Williams was able to corral. Just a few minutes later, however, the Quakers were not as lucky as another confusing episode ended with a Cornell player being tripped in the goal box for a penalty kick. The Big Red's Lena Russomagno stepped up and was true to the left corner, giving her team a 1-0 lead.
Amazingly, it was the first goal Penn had allowed to Cornell since the 2003 season.
Turnabout was fair play in this contest, however, and after awhile the Quakers began taking it to the Big Red. That paid off in the 34th minute when Cornell was called for a handball in its own box and Penn was given a PK. For the second time this year Michelle Drugan stepped up, and for the second time she converted to knot the score at 1-1.
It stayed that way until just past the hour mark, when Drugan played a long cross in from the left side that went over a trio of players -- Cornell goalkeeper Kelly Murphy, a Big Red defender, and a Penn attacker. Behind them, Marin McDermott was waiting all alone, and she headed a ball that found its way over the goal line just before a Cornell defender could clear it. The goal was immediately awarded.
The game unraveled a bit after that, as Cornell received three yellow cards. However, the added tension seemed to work against the Quakers, who had to stuff a few nice Big Red chances down the stretch in gaining the win. Williams ended the night with four saves, while Murphy had three stops for Cornell.
Penn returns to action Sunday, hosting Army at 1 p.m.
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