Heading into the 2004 season, the women’s soccer team was again ready to challenge nationally-ranked competitors and continue their resurgence into becoming a dominant force in the Ancient Eight. The Red and Blue did just that finishing the season with a 9-6-2 record, equaling the same win total from the previous season, and a 4-2-1 mark in the Ivy League After a rocky start in which the, dropped four of their first five contests, the Red and Blue rebounded to put together a solid second half of the season en route to a third place finish in the Ivy League.
Fielding his first team comprised entirely of his own recruiting classes, Head Coach Darren Ambrose’s record improved to 49-27-12 during his tenure and the Quakers earned their fifth-straight winning season. In addition, the Red and Blue saw another record fall, five student-athletes named All-Ivy League and the program’s second-consecutive first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection. Penn also said goodbye to nine seniors, including Katy Cross, who graduates as one of the best student-athletes ever to take the field in the Red and Blue.
As Penn wrapped up its first-ever trip to California, a Red and Blue streak was just beginning. Starting with a double overtime 1-1 draw at the University of San Francisco on Sept. 19, the Quakers went unbeaten in eight-consecutive games and finished the season by going unbeaten in 10 of their last 12 contests. During that eight-game stretch, Penn outscored opponents, 20-3, including three-straight shutouts over Cornell, 3-0, Columbia, 3-0, and Drexel, 4-0.
All streaks must come to an end however. The Quakers ended on Oct. 23 falling to Yale, 3-2, in double overtime. After the Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Red and Blue tallied two goals in a 10-minute span on tallies by Rachelle Snyder and Katy Cross to tie the game. It would be Yale that prevailed as Mimi Macauley’s shot at 101:57 slipped by goalkeeper Anna Halse.
HOME SWEET HOME
Rhodes Field was a comfortable place to be for the Quakers. Penn posted a 6-3-0 record on their home field, including a perfect 3-0 against Ivy League competition, and outscored, 19-9. The Quakers first home win of the season came on Sept. 10 with an impressive 3-0 victory over Vanderbilt. The Red and Blue picked up its first Ivy win of the season on Rhodes Field edging Harvard, 1-0.
REWRITING THE BOOKS
Senior Katy Cross broke her eighth program record of her career on Sept. 19, becoming the career assists leader with her helper on Katie Campbell’s goal. Cross finished her historic career with Cross with 25 assists, 50 goals and 125 points all program records. Cross also holds program records in points in a game (9), points in a season (38), goals in a game (4), goals in a season (16), career goals (50), assists in a season (10), and career assists (25).
HALSE HALTS OPPONENTS
While at California on Sept. 17, Anna Halse checked into her first game of the season and from that point on she was nearly perfect. In that time she posted a 8-2-2 record, including a career high six shutouts. She was ranked in the top-10 in the nation in goals against average three times, reaching as high as fourth, twice. Halse was a main component of the Quakers season unbeaten streak, shutting out opponents five of those games. Halse also notched a career-high eight saves on three different occasions.
She finished the season with a 0.83 GAA, the second lowest in program history, and 57 saves. She concluded her career with 1.15 GAA to tie Vanessa Scotto for second best all-time.
Junior Robin Watson known for her outstanding defense and steady foot, also got into the scoring action this season with a career-high seven points on three goals and an assist to earn All-Ivy League status. When it came to penalty kick, Watson was a perfect 2-for-2. Her first successful one-on-one attempt came in the 3-0 victory over Columbia on Oct. 9 in the 53rd minute. Her second tally was amidst the 5-0 romp at Rider on Oct. 20 in the59th minute.
ROUGHING UP RIDER
The Red and Blue’s highest offensive output of the season came on Oct. 20 with a 5-0 victory at Rider University, with the team notching 13 points. Katy Cross recorded her fourth career hat trick and added an assist, while Carolyn Cross and Robin Watson each added goals for the Quakers. Lauren Bome and Katie Campbell were both credited with assists.
Penn had five student-athletes garner All-Ivy League honors, including two first-team selections. Katy Cross made her fourth-consecutive first-team as a unanimous selection. Joining Cross was Robin Watson who made an appearance on the first team for the second season. Senior Lydia Bojcun earned second-team honors while fellow seniors Rachelle Snyder and Anna Halse earned honorable mention accolades. Cross was also named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-America All-District II first team for the third season.
The Red and Blue went out and accomplished most of their goals in the 2004 season. Most importantly, the Quakers, despite losing nine seniors to graduation, have set the foundation for continued success as they will return 18 student-athletes next fall, each of whom saw significant action this season.