PHILADELPHIA - Perhaps it was a sign of Penn's youth that the Quakers struggled Sunday evening with Robert Morris University. After all, most of these players remembered last year's 6-0 blanking of the Colonials right here at Rhodes Field.
Well, it took nearly an hour, but it was not until RMU had actually gotten on the board that Penn asserted itself in the scoring column. The result was a 4-1 victory that improved the Quakers to 2-0-0 on the young season.
Penn held play most of the way, outshooting Robert Morris 19-7 and forcing the Colonial goalkeepers to make 11 saves. The Quakers also took nine corner kicks to RMU's one.
However, this match was tied -- briefly -- after RMU's Heather Niznik fired a shot that a Penn defender got a foot on, only to see it twist wildly over goalkeeper Cailly Carroll and into the far upper corner.
"Pete (Pososki) and I were on the bench, talking about how this was the type of game where Robert Morris had threatened a few times," said head coach Darren Ambrose. "If you've seen enough soccer, you know that possession does not necessarily generate a result. It was only a few minutes later that they scored."
Penn needed all of 46 seconds to get back on top. The Quakers had gotten on the board first when freshman Kristin Kaiser fired a free kick from the right side that a Colonial defender mis-hit into the goal, and another freshman figured prominently in the goal that gave Penn a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Kaitlin Campbell was able to collect a loose ball amid several players in the Robert Morris goal area, and calmly pushed a ball to her left to a wide-open Jessica Fuccello. The sophomore had no trouble depositing the ball into the goal for a 2-1 lead.
Just seven minutes later, junior Molly Weir got deep into the RMU zone, and pushed a short cross through the goalmouth that Sarah Friedman fired high into the goal from about 10 yards out. Just 40 seconds after that, Fuccello sent a cross from the left side that caught an onrushing Jess Rothenheber, who calmly putit past Colonial goalie Jessica Onufer into the far corner.
"I was happy with the way the team responded," said Ambrose. "We did a much better job getting on the crosses during the second half, especially in those 10 minutes after the Robert Morris goal."
Carroll had three saves on the day, and gave way to freshman Gina Winters with about 11 minutes left.
Penn is at home two more times next weekend, hosting Michigan State Friday night and then Saint Joseph's Sunday afternoon.