Women's Soccer Knocks Off Columbia, 2-1

Box Score

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Penn got a penalty-kick goal from Natalie Capuano in the 74th minute, breaking a 1-1 tie and propelling the Quakers to a 2-1 win over Columbia in women's soccer action Saturday afternoon.

The win was the third in a row for the Quakers, who improved to 8-2-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the Ivy League. Penn has already matched its overall win total from each of the last two seasons, with six regular-season matches still left to play.

Columbia -- which fell to 6-3-2, 1-1-0 -- is the defending Ivy League champion, and entered the match with an eight-game unbeaten streak (featuring six shutouts).

"This was a great win for us," said head coach Darren Ambrose. "We battled hard, and we were opportunistic. At the other end, our defense was solid, and in the final few minutes when they really started throwing it at us, Sara Rose came up with the necessary saves."

Capuano's goal came aftersophomore MaraFintziwas taken down in the penalty box by a Columbia defender.

Things stayed scoreless just past the hour, before sophomore Jessica Fuccello broke through for Penn byheading home a free kick from classmate Jess Rothenheber. Rothenheber sent a ball toward the far post from about 35 yards out, and Fuccello got behind the Columbia defense and headed it back across the goalmouth inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.

"We had a lot of chances on corners and free kicks in the first half, and I don't know if we were trying to be too perfect or what but we did not get much from them," said Ambrose. "At halftime we told them to send those balls long and try to get on them behind the Columbia players, and that's exactly what happened on our goal. It was just a fantastic play all-around, from Rothenheber's ball in to Fuccello's header."

Columbia stormed back after Penn's first goal, and just 2:02 after surrendering the lead the Lions equalized things with a penalty kick of their own. Sophie Reiser took the PK for Columbia and beat Rose to make it 1-1.

Rose went the entire way for the Quakers and had three saves in gaining the win. For Columbia, Allison Vespa made four stops.

Penn and Columbia matched each other in the shot category, 11-11, while the Quakers doubled the Lions up with six corner kicks to Columbia's three.

Penn is back in Ivy League action next Saturday, hosting Dartmouth at 5 p.m. on Rhodes Field. The Big Green finished last season 6-1-0 in the conference, and finished second behind Columbia which went 6-0-1.