Women's Soccer Falls to Northwestern, 2-1

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA- With all the rain that has come down the last 30 hours or so in the Philadelphia region, the Penn and Northwestern women's soccer teams were forced to move their Friday night match to Drexel's Vidas Field, a fieldturf field (as opposed to Rhodes Field, which is natural grass).

Northwestern plays its home games on fieldturf in Evanston, Ill.; in fact, the Wildcats practice on it every day. Penn, on the other hand, is used to the natural surface of Rhodes.

Whether or not that played a role is up for debate, but this is not: Northwestern -- previously 1-3-1 on the season -- defeated a previously unbeaten Penn squad, 2-1.

Given the conditions, it was no surprise that this game was far from a masterpiece. Penn, in particular, struggled mightily with the bounces of the field and the slickness, though, and never got its potent offense in gear. On the night, the Quakers outshot the Wildcats, 10-9, putting five on goal compared to NU's four.

Northwestern (2-3-1) also was bolstered by scoring early, when Alicia Herczeg crashed a scramble in front of the Penn goal and crushed a close shot past goalkeeper Caroline Williams into the left side. That goal came in the 18th minute.

Penn (2-1-0)countered with two excellent opportunities almost immediately. The first came when Marisa Schoen headed a cross on goal, but the ball was cleared off the line by a defender inside the far post. Just five minutes later, Jessica Fuccello -- she of the five goals last weekend -- had a turnaround opportunity from about 15 yards out, but NU goalkeeper Carolyn Edwards dove to her right and made the stop.

That was pretty much it for the Quakers, who really only had one more great opportunity when Kristin Kaiser scored with 2:35 left in regulation. Unfortunately, that goal only cut Northwestern's lead in half, as the Wildcats had tacked on a second goal six minutes earlier from Emily Langston. Kay Sampson was credited with an assist on the Wildcats' second goal.

Penn returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting Pitt at 1 p.m. on Rhodes Field. The Panthers entered the week ranked 25th in the nation by Soccer America, but also lost Friday at Drexel's Vidas Field (1-0 to Drexel).

Download: Penn03 (Northwestern).pdf