PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/12/2013 – The game was a chance at redemption for the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team. The opponent was the Big Green of Dartmouth who defeated Penn for the Ivy League championship last season on Dunning-Cohen Champions Field. The same field on which this game was played. It was also Senior Day for Penn. Those players remembered, and combined for six of the eight goals for the Red and Blue who hung on for an 8 – 7 win and remain undefeated in Ivy League play. Senior attack Caroline Bunting lead Penn with 3 goals including the eventual game winner with 7:16 remaining in the game. Her Senior Day will always be remembered for the win.
“I got a little nervous with the distractions before the game that threw our team off a little,” said Bunting. “The losses last year really fueled our team to win. I couldn’t have asked for a better Senior Day.”
“Playing on this field brought bad memories of losing to them. We came out and wanted it more. That’s what it came down to.”
Penn would need a high-level performance against Dartmouth who also came into the game with no losses in the Ivy League. The Big Green held a 3 – 2 lead in the first half. Quaker seniors Maddie Poplawski, Meredith Cain, and Bunting scored the next three goals for a 5 – 3 lead early in the second half. Dartmouth took the lead back on consecutive goals by attack Christine Lushefski and attack Liz Calby. Bunting got the lead back for Penn with an unassited goal with 17:01 on the clock. Sarah Byrne answered for Dartmouth before Penn freshman midfielder Iris Williamson scored on a free-position goal at 11:22, her team-best 24th of the season, before Bunting gave Penn the insurance goal they needed. The Wellesley, MA native had 6 shots in the game, 4 on goal.
“Caroline had a tremendous game all around,” said Penn coach Karin Brower-Corbett. “She was creating opportunities. In the first half she wasn’t scoring, but she was making other people score by drawing double-teams and driving so hard.”
Poplawski scored two goals in the game, and her 7 draw controls gave Penn numerous opportunities on offense. Cain had a goal and accounted for three on net. Sophomore goal keeper Lucy Ferguson recorded 7 saves including two in the last minutes of the game.
“My kids didn’t falter,” said Brower-Corbett. “They challenged and looked for opportunities.”
The Red and Blue, 5
– 0 in the league, clinched a spot in the Ivy League tournament. The goal is to be the top-seed and the host. They will meet rival Princeton on Wednesday before going to Brown to end league play on Saturday.
“They’re one of the cleanest teams in the league,” Brower-Corbett said about Princeton. “They have a lot of threats. It’s going to be a good game, and we will have to play our best.”
The Penn team and their senior leaders look for the chance to make more memories.
“We are looking forward to getting better for Princeton and Brown,” Bunting said. “I play my sister next saturday, which will be exciting.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian