#4 Penn 10 Cornell 6 – Women’s Lacrosse – A View From Papazian’s Perch

The University of Pennsylvania Women’s Lacrosse team got off to a fast start scoring 5 goals within the first 13 minutes of the game, then held off a Cornell rally to get a 10 – 6 Ivy League win at Franklin Field.  Junior Attack Erin Brennan led the Red and Blue with 3 points on 2 goals and an assist.  With the win the Quakers are 7 – 1 on the season, and is 3 – 0 in conference.

The good start for the 4th ranked Quakers was important as the team had to bounce back from an 8 – 5 loss to Johns Hopkins on March 23.  That game was the first loss by Penn to an unranked team since March 16, 2006 in a contest against Delaware.

Karin Brower Corbett

“It was huge as we haven’t been starting strong at all,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett.  “In our first halves we have been consistently behind, or tied, or just one goal up.  I was happy with the first ten minutes.  It’s been something we’ve been stressing.  We hope we can continue with that.  Starting strong is something for us to continue.”

The first goal for the Red and Blue came at the 25:06 mark on an unassisted goal by Senior Attack Bridget Waclawik, her 7th of the season.  Freshman Midfielder Lindsey Smith  got her first career goal three minutes later.  That score was followed with goals by Sophomore Attack Caroline Bunting, Senior Attack Giulia Giordano, and Freshman Midfielder Shannon Mangini.  Cornell notched the next three goals, but that run was broken on a goal by Brennan.  It was her 13th goal of the year.  Penn took a 6 – 4 lead at halftime.

In the second half Cornell Attack Jess Steinberg put in her third goal of the game cutting the Penn lead to 6 – 5 with 23:59 to play.  Penn looked out of synch on offense.  Giordano suffered a right ankle injury that kept her on the bench as the beginning of the half.  Their substitution pattern was different which slowed the offense.  Giordano returned to the game.  Then the Quakers got the key goal of the game at the 18:45 mark as Poplawski converted a free position shot putting her team back in front by two goals.  With 10:42 to play the Big Red got back to within one at 7 – 6 on a goal by Midfielder Katie Kirk.  Brennan answered for Penn at the 7:30 mark to move ahead 8 – 6.  Junior Midfielder Allison Tatios and Poplawski closed out the scoring as Penn withstood the Cornell rally.  Brower Corbett credited her team for answering the challenge.

“Our offense scored when we needed to score,” said Brower Corbett.  “We got draws, and when we turned the ball over we got it back.  I am happy with the second chances and how we fought as a team.  We had the ball more than them, and that’s what really allowed us to stay ahead.”

Penn put 22 shots on the Cornell net compared to 14 for the Big Red.  Penn Junior Goalkeeper Emily Leitner made 5 saves.  Cornell Goalkeeper Kyla Dambach made 7 saves.  Penn had a 16 – 13 advantage in Ground Balls, and a 12 – 6 edge in Draw Controls, 9 – 2 in the first half.  The Red and Blue converted 3 of 5 Free-position shots, while the Big Red missed on all 3 of their chances.

Erin Brennan

With 3 points Brennan added to her team-leading total of 21 points on 14 goals and 7 assists.  Giordano had 2 points giving her 16 for the season with 12 goals and 4 assists.  With 3 Draw Controls Poplawski leads the team with 18.

The Red and Blue extended their Ivy League winning streak to 32 games.  Penn goes on the road for their next three games at Maryland, Columbia, and Northwestern.  The Quakers return home on April 16 for an Ivy League contest against Dartmouth.

Key Goal of the Game

Poplawski converted a Free-position goal at the 18:45 mark to put Penn back in front by 7 – 5.  Penn had a 5 – 0 lead that Cornell cut to 6 – 5 before the Poplawski goal.  Cornell got another goal at the 10:42 mark, but Brennan answered for the Quakers with 7:30 to play.

Key Stat of the Game

Penn kept the offensive pressure on Cornell with a 22 – 14 edge in shots, 16 – 13 in Ground Balls, and 21 – 6 in Draw Controls.

Key Players in the Game

For Penn – Erin Brennan scored 2 goals and had an assist on 4 shots all on goal. 

For Cornell – Jessi Steinberg had a game-high 3 goals on 5 shots.  Steinberg added 2 Draw Controls and a Ground Ball.

Point Where the Game Was Decided

At the 5:06 mark Penn took a 9 – 6 lead on a goal by Allison Tatios that fully blunted the Cornell comeback.

Thoughts and Musings

With the win Penn has won 32 consecutive Ivy League games.  The team is focused on winning its next games, especially getting Ivy win number four.  This team wants to make its own mark choosing only to look ahead not back at the streak.  

“We never talk about it,” said Brower Corbett.  “Our goal is to win the Ivy League.  It has nothing to do with the past years.  It is about this team.  It’s about winning the Ivy League.”

The team has up to six more Ivy contests to achieve their goal.  After Columbia, they meet Dartmouth and Princeton at home.  Those are the two teams right behind them in the standings.


Written By:  Glenn Papazian

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