Penn Downs Harvard 16 – 8 in Ivy League Semifinal, To Play Yale for the Championship
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 5/5/2023 –
It is the Boston weekend in Philadelphia. The Celtics played the Sixers at the Center. The Red Sox visited the Phillies at the Park. But most important is the Harvard visit to Penn Park to play the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League Women’s Lacrosse semifinal. Penn represented the city and themselves quite well in a 16 – 8 win. The Quakers advance to the tournament final on Sunday when they host the Yale Bulldogs. Another game against a New England opponent.
Penn sophomore midfielder Anna Brandt led the offense scoring 5 goals to tie her career-high for most goals in a game. Fellow sophomore Erika Chung also tied her collegiate-best with 5 assists in a game, and her 6 point-game matched a career-high. Both players are in their first Ivy postseason, and feel the excitement of getting to play for a championship.
“I’m so excited,” Brandt exclaimed. “It’s my first time ever being here. We weren’t in this position last year. So I’m grateful for every minute of it. I’m just trying to cherish it and live in the moment. And not take anything for granted because I know what it’s like to be on the other end.”
“I’m so excited,” said Chung. “It’s our first time in the Ivy League championship, so I’m super stoked to just get out there and get it.”
Each Player Credits the Team for Their Performance
In an effective performance each player sees what went well for them as a product of the team performance.
“All credit to my teammates,” Chung said. “They’re amazing on the inside. They’re doing all the work for me. Basically, I have the easiest job where I find them open in the middle. We wouldn’t have gotten this far if our team chemistry wasn’t so great. And If I didn’t have such amazing players around me.”
“My teammates setting me up, I owe it all to them,” Brandt said. “Erika gave me great looks. They were opening things up for me and I had the easy job of just seeing the net, putting in the back of the cage, but they made the openings easy and made my life a lot easier.”
Strong Start for the Red and Blue
The Quakers came out quickly, determined to force the Crimson to play uphill by scoring the first six goals of the game in the initial twelve minutes. Each of the goals were netted by a different player; Niki Miles, Chung, Kennon Moon, Paige Lipman, and Brandt.
A strong start was a key to victory.
“We knew we wanted to come out fired up and ready to go,” Brandt said. “We wanted to beat them to everything; first ground ball, first defensive stop. We wanted to keep that momentum going, come out hard and stay strong for the whole game.”
At intermission Penn held a 9 – 3 lead. Harvard cut into the Penn advantage getting to within 5 at 11 – 6 with 4:25 remaining in the third quarter. The Quakers answered scoring the next four goals to take full control.
What the Numbers Say
Maddie Barkate had a team-high 3 goals for the Crimson. Riley Campbell and Charlotte Hodgson each scored two goals, and Caroline Mullahy assisted twice.
Eight Penn players scored goals. Paige Lipman tied her game career-most with 3 goals. Maria Themelis found the back of the net.
Penn got something from most everybody, something needed in tournament time.
“We really have a lot of different kids scoring,” Penn Coach Karin Corbett said. “That has a lot to do with unselfish ball movement and take those opportunities when they’re there. Everybody is confident in everybody out there and they can feed them. People can take the drives, and I think the defense is a tremendous strength of ours. The unit is so great at stifling other teams.”
Key statistics for Penn in the game were Draw Controls where the Quakers had a 20 – 8 advantage. Miles contributed heavily by winning 9, a career-leading draws in a game. Harvard committed 38 fouls to 18 for the Red and Blue. These statistics lead to possessions, and possessions lead to goals.
The Championship Game on Sunday. Yale got to the final with an exciting 11 – 10 win in the other semifinal over Princeton. The Tigers led 10 – 7 after three quarters, but Yale won that fourth quarter 4 – 0 to get a berth in the final. Penn defeated Yale during the regular season. The Quakers are prepared and ready for a tough contest.
“This team has been on a mission, they’ve been calling it the revenge season,” said Corbett. “Last year was so disappointing. and I think they have done a tremendous job in setting the tone.”
“If we play our game and do what we do all season, I think we’re going to come out on top,” predicted Brandt.
The Other Bostonian Visitors
The Celtics defeated the Sixers 114 – 102. The Red Sox won 5 – 3 over the Phillies. Bravo Quakers! Who upheld Philadelphia sports pride this day by winning over a Boston team.
Written By: Glenn Papazian