The theme of the 2004 field hockey season so far could be close calls. The Red has displayed incredible potential to compete with strong teams but have only one victory to show for its efforts. On Saturday at Schoellkopf, the Red once again fought hard but could not overcome a very good Penn team, losing in overtime, 2-1.
‘We were encouraged by our performance but not satisfied by it,’ said head coach Donna Hornibrook. ‘We showed that we could compete with quality Ivy League teams. I”m proud of girls” effort. We had an opportunity to win that game – this is something to build on.’
The Red entered Saturday”s game against the Quakers in a three game slide and still in search of its second victory of the season. The Quakers, 2-3 entering the game, were coming off a 1-0 victory over Lafayette. The Penn offense had only tallied five goals on the season and the game was destined to be a defensive struggle.
Early in the game, the Red was able to push the ball deep into the Quaker end. Each time Penn tried to clear the ball, Red midfielders stepped up and held the ball in the offensive end. Finally in the 22 minute, the Red broke through when senior Danielle Dunn ripped a shot from just inside the circle into the Penn net. It was Dunn”s third goal and eighth point of the season.
‘Danielle Dunn had her best game of the year,’ Hornibrook said. ‘She worked really hard for us upfront.’
Penn soon turned the tide and with each possession carried the ball deeper toward the Red goal. With less than ten minutes to play in the half, the Quakers mounted a sustained drive that nearly tied the game. However, luck seemed to be on the side of the Red. As time expired in the half, Quaker All-American Liz Lorelli faked out senior goalie Lori Blutinger but her shot hit the post. The Red breathed a sigh of relief as the half ended and the team escaped with a precarious 1-0 lead.
The second half turned out to be a continuation of the end of the first. The Quakers challenged and pressured the Red, while the Red worked hard struggling to hold the lead.
However, Penn would not be denied – about 16 minutes into the half the Quakers took advantage of a penalty corner and tied the score. Neither team scored in the remaining minutes of the half, sending the game went into overtime.
In the opening two minutes of overtime, senior Sarah Wiener nearly won the game for the Red but she was unable to score on a breakaway. This was the closest the Red would come to victory and soon after, Penn connected on another penalty corner and won the game. The Red is now 1-4 and 0-2 in Ive League play. Despite the disappointment, morale on the team remains high.
‘In some ways this was a tough loss,’ said senior co-captain Gina Testa. ‘In other ways, it was a really positive performance and we”re not really that down.
‘This is a completely different team from last year. A lot has to do with the coaching staff and our new system. Last year we weren”t really competitive in a lot of the games. Most of the games so far we”ve been competitive and have been able or could have won.’
Archived article by James Rich
Sun Staff Writer