Women’s soccer bests Penn 2-0
The women’s soccer team beat the University of Pennsylvania 2-0 in front of a raucous crowd on Homecoming Saturday at Burnham Field to break its five-game winless streak and notch this season’s first Ivy League win. Corey Delaney ’16 scored the first goal, her second of the season, and Jackie Friedman ’16 added the insurance tally to pace the Big Green (4-4-4, 1-0-3 Ivy) to the victory.
The Dartmouth women had worked on playing with composure despite excitement coming into games, Friedman said.
“Today we were a little bit more relaxed,” she said. “We always have really high energy and we’re really good at that, but sometimes we just need to calm down a bit, and I think we did a really good job at that today.”
Penn (5-5-2, 1-3-0 Ivy) looked strong at the start of the game, but Dartmouth soon fell into its rhythm. With 12 minutes left in the half, the Big Green picked up speed and put pressure on the Quakers, with several Big Green players making dangerous runs up the right side of the field.
In the 35th minute, the Dartmouth pressure proved too much for Penn, when Delaney put the Big Green on the board. The tally was created by a sequence precision passes. Meredith Gurnee ’17 transferred the ball on a slide to Melanie Vangel ’18, coming up the right side of the field. Vangel advanced a few yards before sending a flat ball across to Delaney in the center of the box. She one-touched the ball just to the side of Penn senior goalkeeper Katherine Myhre and into the back of the net.
A multi-goal game seemed unlikely going in to the match. Both teams had shown strong defenses and averaged just one goal per game offensively. Dartmouth entered the game with an average goals against of less than one per game.
Yet Dartmouth scored again early in the second half. A corner kick by Kendall Kraus ’15 arrived in the box but was sent up the middle by a Quaker head. Friedman took one touch to control the ball and then sent it across the goal into the upper 90. Myhre could not even attempt to stop it.
“I love how the team came out in the second half,” head coach Ron Rainey said. “Because they did the three things [we talked about at halftime] and it gave us a lot of good possession and a good goal to start the half.”
Dartmouth had several more excellent chances in the second half but could not capitalize. These included a header off a free kick that sailed over Myhre’s hands but was just cleared by a Quaker defender and a free kick from just outside the top corner of the box that Friedman sent high.
Penn returned the favor, nearly scoring as the clock ticked past the 87th minute. A corner kick was controlled at the top of the six-yard box. During a scrum, the ball nearly made it to the back of Dartmouth’s net, but a tight Big Green defense managed to just clear the ball wide.
The final 10 seconds of the game brought a countdown from fans. After the whistle blew, the happy Dartmouth team jogged over to the cheering fans.
“Three points feels a lot better than one,” Friedman said. “There was a lot going on yesterday [for Homecoming], but we couldn’t do a lot of it because we had to rest up for today, but it was obviously worth it.”
Rainey is in his first season with the Dartmouth women and experienced both his first bonfire and first Ivy win this weekend.
The team will enjoy some time off before preparing for its next match against Columbia University. Rainey said the team will look at film of the Lions before the game Saturday and will practice on Scully Field, which is field turf like the artificial turf Columbia plays on.
“We’ll get the kids thinking about that surface and about what it takes to play on that,” Rainey said. “The ball tends to roll farther and more quickly on artificial turf, changing the dynamic of through balls and of maintaining possession of the ball.”
Delaney said that the team is looking to build on a good performance on Saturday against the Lions next weekend. The Lions sit at 2-1-1 in the Ancient Eight, just one point above the Big Green.
The game is slated to start at 4 p.m. Saturday in New York.