PHILADELPHIA - The end came very suddenly -- in more ways than one.
Sure, there was Brown's Lindsay Cunningham, taking a through ball from Sylvia Stone and completing a shocking counterattack by the Bears with a shot that beat Cailly Carroll into the far corner to give the Bears a 1-0 overtime win. But that was only part of the equation; you see, with the loss Penn was officially eliminated from the Ivy League race heading into the final weekend.
Penn (8-5-3, 2-2-2 Ivy League) was still in a position to be alive after Harvard tied Dartmouth earlier in the day -- a Quaker victory would have kept them only two points behind the Crimson with one match still to go (a win yields three points). That went by the boards as soon as Cunningham's shot crossed the goalline, instead ending a frustrating evening that saw Penn get called for offsides an astounding 14 times.
It was a bitter ending to Senior Night for the Quakers. Prior to the match, Penn recognized its seven seniors who were playing their last home game in the red and blue-- Natalie Capuano, Maggie Devitt, Ellen Gregory, Eileen Larkin, Tory Tripp, Molly Weir and Nicki White -- and all seven started the game.
Penn outshot Brown (6-6-4, 2-3-1) just 11-10, and took seven corner kicks to the Bears' three. However, the Quakers were stymied time and again by Brown goalkeeper Steffi Yellinwho madeher first appearance this season.
Penn's best chances came in the second half. The first came when Weir was sent in at an angle and looked like she had only Yellin to beat. However, Yellin did a great job cutting down the angle, and Weir's attempt was forced wide.
Late in the second half, Penn got another great opportunity when a corner kick was nodded on goal by Capuano and appeared ticketed for the far corner. Yellin had no shot at it, but luckily for her a Brown defender was behind her and headed it out of harm's way before it crossed the line.
That set the stage for the stunning finish, as Penn was caught forward and Brown was able to convert the golden chance.
Carroll played the second half and overtime and made four routine saves. In the first half, Sara Rose got the nod and made one superb save on a header by Bridget Ballard.
Penn will finish the 2008 season next weekend, traveling to Princeton to take on the Tigers Saturday at 4 p.m.