Women's Soccer Upends Cornell, 2-1

Box Score (PDF)

Marin McDermott's Postgame Interview

PHILADELPHIA - On a rainy night in Philadelphia, the Penn women's soccer team was able to get past Cornell, 2-1, thanks to about the prettiest goal you're going to see at the college level.

With just more than 15 minutes left in regulation and the score tied, Penn got a corner kick. From the left side, Brianna Rano fired the ball into the goal area. Marin McDermott was running past the near post toward Rano, but she got her head on the ball and flicked it just enough that it tucked inside the far post, past a stunned Cornell defense.

It was McDermott's team-leading fifth goal this season, and boy was it a big one.

So now Penn is 7-2-0 overall, but more importantly they go to 1-1-0 in the Ivy League. In addition, the Quakers push their winning streak at home to eight matches. Cornell fell to 2-9-0, 0-2-0.

After a fairly mundane first half on both sides -- the Quakers outshot the Big Red only 4-3 -- it did not take long for action pick up in the second stanza. In just the second minute, Claire Walker, who came on at the break for Penn, fed freshman Clara Midgley with a beautiful through-ball. Belying her youth, Midgley calmly dealt with onrushing Cornell keeper Megan Bartlett, pushing the ball with her right foot past Bartlett's left and inside the far post.

It took Cornell less than eight minutes to equalize. A Penn foul deep in its defensive territory gave the Big Red a free kick from the right side, and Abigail Apistolas sent a ball toward the far post that Claire MacManus headed beautifully back across the goalmouth and past Sarah Banks. It was the first goal allowed at Rhodes Field this season by Penn, which was playing its fifth home game.

Penn began pressing the play after that -- the Quakers would outshoot Cornell in the second half, 13-2 -- and that pressure nearly paid off when McDermott was sprung free for a breakaway. However, Bartlett was able to cut down just enough of the angle, and the senior's shot hit the near post and bounced back right into Bartlett's arms.

A few minutes later, Walker looked like she might give Penn the lead when she beat Bartlett to a cross at the left post. However, Bartlett was able to stymie Walker, and the ball went out of bounds for the Penn corner kick that turned into McDermott's goal.

McDermott had another chance late to put the game away, but was unable to get around a ball in front of the Cornell goal in time and had her shot blocked. Nevertheless, McDermott scored her 19th career goal which puts her in a tie for sixth place all-time at Penn with Carolyn Cross (2002-05) and Kellianne Toland (1998-2001). In addition, McDermott now has 47 career points which pushed her past Cross for 10th on Penn's all-time list in that category.

Banks was forced to make just one save in the game, but it was a beauty as she stuffed a breakaway opportunity in the first half. At the other end, Bartlett made 10 stops to keep the Big Red in the match.

Penn returns to action on Sunday, hosting Saint Francis (Pa.) at 1 p.m. on Rhodes Field. The Quakers' next Ivy League match is next Friday at Columbia, a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Download: Penn09 (Cornell).pdf