Jason Wu/Sun Senior Editor

Senior attacker Sophie Ward scores a goal in Cornell's loss against Penn.

April 18, 2023

Cornell Falls to No. 17 Penn in a Close Matchup

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This past weekend, women’s lacrosse (6-7, 2-3 Ivy) faced No. 17 Penn (8-4, 4-0 Ivy) in a close game at Franklin Field. 

Senior attacker Sophie Ward said the team aimed to improve their play from their game against Harvard on April 8.

“[The Harvard game] taught us that the game is 60 minutes and it’s filled with so many moments,” Ward said. “But at the end of the day, the team that’s going to win is the team that had the most complete moments out of those 60. … Going into Penn, we wanted to have a more complete game than we did against Harvard.” 

Penn started the game strong, winning the opening draw and scoring off a free position shot. The Red put its first point on the scoreboard soon after, with senior attacker Amanda Cramer finding the net. 

Penn responded by scoring three consecutive goals, but with six minutes left in the quarter, the Red was able to rebound with three goals of their own, ending the quarter in a tie, 4-4.

“A common theme this year has been that we’ve come out of the gates really hot and excited,” Ward said. “Coming off of a loss against Harvard, we knew we had a lot left to give.”

The second quarter started slow for both teams, with multiple shot attempts but no goals. The Quakers was the first to find the back of the net, four minutes into the quarter. 

The Red responded with a goal off a free position shot, but Penn was able to sneak another goal into the net soon after. 

Cornell rebounded with two goals to close out the first half with the Red in the lead, 7-6.

“It’s a momentum game, so even though we were up by one at the half it was essentially a 0-0 game, because we still had 30 minutes left to play, and a lot could happen,” Ward said. 

Coming out of the locker room, Penn quickly found its stride, scoring off a free position shot to tie the game. 

Junior attacker Maggie Pons scored Cornell’s first goal of the second half, assisted by sophomore attacker Josie Vogel. Twelve seconds after Cornell regained the lead, the Quakers scored after winning the draw, tying the game again. 

“[During the third quarter] Penn had a little bit more energy, drive and momentum,” Ward said.

The Quakers scored two more times before the last whistle, gaining a lead of 10-8. 

The final quarter was intense for the Red. Starting with two goals, Penn further secured its lead, making the score 12-8. Ward was the first to score for the Red as the team tried to begin its comeback. 

“Penn runs a unique zone with two floaters swarming the eight-meter arc, so we wanted to focus on exploiting them… using defenders to work in a threesome, circling the crease and attackers extending beyond the 12-meter mark, because space favors offense,” Ward said.

Despite this adjustment, the Quakers scored again shortly after with a successful free position shot. Cornell responded with a quick goal, but Penn found the net again soon after. 

After a timeout taken by Penn, senior midfielder Shannon Brazier scored off an assist from Cramer. 

Penn received a yellow card on their leading shooter, sophomore midfielder Anna Brandt. The Red capitalized on being a man-up with Cramer scoring off a free position shot. 

Despite this last offensive effort, Penn was able to score one additional goal, winning the game 15-12. 

“Unfortunately, it was too little too late when we started to have our own runs and big plays, scoring goals and winning possessions,” Ward said. 

With the season coming to a close, Cornell is optimistic about their last two games before the postseason. 

“We’re in a unique position where we have control over our fate for the post season and aren’t relying on what other teams in the conference are doing, but rather how we play against Yale and Brown,” Ward said. “As a team we’re focusing on staying disciplined for 60 minutes and playing a complete game.“

The Red will travel to New Haven, Connecticut to face No. 19 Yale this Saturday, April 22 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.