March 14, 2009

No. 5 Penn Draws Up 10-2 Win

March 14, 2009

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - For the first 15 minutes on Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field, Yale hung with No. 5 Penn. But with the game tied at one, the Quakers reeled off six straight goals over the course of 10 minutes to take a commanding 7-1 lead. And on a day where Penn won all 14 draw controls, the Bulldogs simply could not mount a comeback. So even after the Yale defense buckled down and held the Quakers scoreless for nearly 25 minutes at one point midway through the game, the defending Ivy League champion Quakers still came away with a 10-2 win.

After winning the opening draw, Penn (5-0, 1-0 Ivy League) had the ball in Yale's end for nearly three minutes before a caused turnover by junior defender Michele Fiorentino ended the possession. But the Quakers were able to get the ball back, and attacker/midfielder Courtney Lubbe got the first of her four assists on the day by feeding midfielder Giulia Giordano for a goal at 26:25.

After an offside call against the Quakers with 20 minutes left in the half, the Bulldogs had an extended possession that ended with senior midfielder Jenn Warden scoring an unassisted goal at 17:55 to tie the game. Less than a minute later freshman goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush denied a low shot attempt on a free position by attacker Becca Edwards.

The Quakers gradually started claiming control of the game over the course of the rest of the half. Lubbe drew a double team before feeding midfielder Ali DeLuca for Penn's second goal. En route to their dominating performance in the circle on the day, the Quakers won all nine draw controls in the first half. That enabled them to string together six goals in a 10-minute span, including three from DeLuca.

Quackenbush ended the half on a high note, denying attacker/midfielder Erin Brennan's attempt to stuff in a pass off a free position attempt by DeLuca with eight seconds left. Quackenbush, who finished with seven saves, also stopped a DeLuca free position shot with 21:55 left in the game and came right back to make another save on a low shot by DeLuca 40 seconds later.

Warden, the only Yale player with more than one shot for the game, pulled the Bulldogs within 7-2 with another unassisted goal at 15:22. Quackenbush came up with another big save to turn aside a shot from DeLuca, who had dodged her way through the Yale defense, two minutes later.

But Penn goalie Emily Leitner (three saves), who had come on in relief of Emily Szelest (one save) after the first half, made back-to-back saves on a Yale possession that started with a free position shot from sophomore midfielder Ariana Papier and ended with Leitner grabbing a shot from Warden in her crosse after senior midfielder Taylor Fragapane had chased down a ground ball. The Quakers then ended their scoring drought, which had lasted 24:41, by getting a goal from Edwards, assisted by Brennan, with 10:04 to play.

Yale (2-4, 0-1 Ivy League) called timeout, but the Quakers got the draw and eventually extended their lead to 9-2 on a goal by Brennan. The score stayed that well until the final minute, as Yale was plagued by an inability to hold on to the ball (18 turnovers, 8-for-17 on clears). Giordano's free position shot with 26 seconds left hit the post, but the Quakers were eventually able to get the ball back for attacker Hannah Rudloff to feed midfielder/defender Samantha Bird for a goal with one second left to make the final 10-2 Penn.

Yale hosts BU Wednesday at 4:00.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity