Penn field hockey most likely wouldn’t depict its fall break as soothing. Be that as it may, it was successful.
This weekend, the Red and Blue added two extra time wins to their record, bringing down Dartmouth at home on Saturday and Drexel out and about on Sunday.
Falling off of a split end of the week in Boston where the Quakers (5-6, 2-1 Ivy) lost to Harvard, they entered the end of the week hoping to step another success against Dartmouth (3-8, 0-3). They did only that in a to and fro issue.
On Saturday, the two teams turned out with high vitality. While the main quarter saw no scoring, the Big Green profited by a punishment to increase an underlying lead. Not long after, sophomore forward Maddy Fagan caught a go from the corner and went to green bean midfielder Meghan Ward for her first university objective to even out the game entering halftime.
Fagan ventured up again when play continued, this time placing the ball in the back of the net to give the Red and Blue a 2-1 lead. Dartmouth countered with two in number hostile plays in the second from last quarter, retaking the lead with two back to back objectives. Toward the finish of the third, Fagan helped tie up the game, scoring again to carry the game to 3-3 going into the last quarter. After two or three failed conversions from the two sides in the final quarter, the two groups entered additional time play.
Ward scored her second university objective and second of the day — off a help from senior forward Alexa Schneck — to end the game, 4-3.
“Going into overtime, we kind of had been feeling the entire game that we were the better team, and we were getting a lot of opportunities,” Ward said. “But they were always coming back and getting the next goal, so we were pretty confident that we were going to be able to finish the job.”
While the high force matchup with Dartmouth left the Red and Blue exhausted, they remained concentrated on completing off the end of the week on a high note.
“There’s no doubt that we were tired. Dartmouth was really good, it was very back and forth, and going into overtime is tiring,” Ward said. “But I think having an overtime victory can really propel a team forward, because it gives you a lot of momentum and confidence going into the next game.”
The Red and Blue had a considerably less exciting first half against the Dragons. While the game was also back-and-forth — with the two teams setting up a reasonable number of shots on objective — neither one of the sides scored by halftime.
The Quakers at that point hit the reset catch and returned with firearms bursting in the second half.
“We talked a lot about how to get better quality circle entries. We talked a lot about how to capitalize on the fact that we had been on our attacking end, I think for the majority of the first half,” coach Colleen Fink said. “But we just weren’t able to get the quality shots off.”
While the Dragons (3-9) had the option to increase a speedy 1-0 second-half lead off of a penalty conversion, one more Fagan shot hit the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 preceding the final quarter. From that point, neither one of the sides had the option to score, sending the second Red and Blue round of the end of the week into extra time.
After Penn earned a free shot quickly into extra time, freshman defender Elita Van Staden was subbed into the game to take the shot.
“[Van Staden] is quite strong on the penalty stroke as you saw,” Fink said. “She was on the sidelines, but we have a ton of confidence in her ability to score on that, so putting her in was pretty much a no brainer.”
Van Staden’s objective finished the game at 2-1 to give the Quakers their second win of the end of the week. The objective was likewise the first year recruit’s second effective punishment stroke this season.
The two extra time wins required a lot of steadiness from the Red and Blue, who have had a genuinely wild season up until this point.
“I think they displayed a lot of resilience. Fall break can be a tricky time. You feel like you should be having this restful, luxurious, spa retreat, and it’s not. You have a lot of work, you still have to train very hard, so I think they just displayed a ton of resilience during that period of time,” Fink said. “The season’s had its ups and downs and we’ve had some frustrating moments, and the fact that they’re capable of rising above the frustration and being able to stay together and capitalize off the resilience that they’ve built through the season has been critical.”
One week from now, the Quakers will hope to stretch out their series of wins to four games when they go head to head against Columbia (5-6, 1-2) in New York on Friday.