PHILADELPHIA - To University of Pennsylvania head women's soccer coach Darren Ambrose, Saturday night's 1-0 loss to Ivy foe Columbia could be explained simply.
"We did not show enough poise in the final third of the field," he said afterward.
Indeed, playing a Lions team that made it a priority to get behind the ball defensively and try to score on the counterattack, the Quakers fell victim and were done in by Columbia's Shannon Munoz in the 73rd minute.
The Lions' senior forward was able to get a body in front of a ball being played by a Penn defender deep in the Quakers' territory. The ball bounced perfectly in front of her, springing her in stride for a breakaway, and she slotted the shot past surprised Cailly Carroll beforethe freshman goalkeepercould get out and cut down the angle.
"They had one chance and they made the most of it," said Ambrose. "You have to give them credit. They have seniors in some key spots and they play hard. Some of our younger players were not used to that, and we struggled to find anything offensively."
Columbia (5-4-3, 2-0-1 Ivy) outshot Penn, 8-6, in a match that did not provide many fireworks. Munoz's goal was one of Columbia's two serious threat in the match, while the Quakers had a goal called back for offsides late and and another chance in front blocked in the final minute. Allison Vespa had three saves in the Columbia goal, while Sara Rose and Carroll split duties for Penn and combined for five saves.
Penn (6-3-1, 1-2-0 Ivy) is back in action Wednesday evening, hosting Robert Morris at Rhodes Field. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.