PHILADELPHIA, PA. 5/6/2016 – It was a rainy and exciting night at Franklin Field. The University of Pennsylvania found a way to overcome a two goal deficit and advanced winning 6 – 5 over the Harvard Crimson in the second period of sudden victory. Penn attacker Caroline Cummings scored at the 1:22 mark in the extra overtime to end the contest. The Quakers will meet the Big Red of Cornell who defeated the Princeton Tigers 10 – 9 in the other semifinal. Penn will play Cornell for the Ivy League championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. For the Red and Blue they found a way to get the their chance to achieve a goal.
“This team is a bunch of fighters and a great senior class who has led this team in every aspect,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett. “They just want to win and they have the determination to do it. You can tell the heart that they play with every game. They are never counted out no matter what the score is.”
Harvard scored the first two goals in the second half to take a 5 – 3 lead with 17:28 to play in regulation on goals by midfielder Audrey Todd. The momentum seemed to be going in the direction of the Crimson. However, Penn was resilient and got back into the game.
Key to the comeback was attacker Sarah Barcia who scored the proximity goal at the 16:45 mark, then assisted on the tying tally by midfielder Emily Rogers-Healion with 6:44 remaining in regulation. The Quakers were pressing the offense and finally got the ball past Crimson goal keeper Kelly Weis.
Harvard had a last chance in regulation and in the first overtime but shots late in the period missed.
“The defense played great and held strong to keep Harvard to five goals,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett. “Our defense played strong and gave the attack opportunity after opportunity.”
In the subsequent sudden victory period the Crimson got the ball, but turned it over just over 30 seconds later. The Red and Blue got the ball and Cummings scored 1:06 seconds later.
“I got the ball and was driving,” Cummings said about getting the game winning goal. “Once I saw number 3 (Megan Hennessey of Harvard) go for the check I saw an opening. I kept it high and it was crucial.”
The teams entered intermission tied at three. Penn was fortunate to be in that position. Midfielder Alex Condon scored off a scramble with just one tick left until halftime.
“It was huge,” Brower Corbett said about that goal. “To come back and go into halftime three-all gave us a boost.”
It all comes down to Sunday for the Red and Blue. They defeated the Big Red 10 – 6 a week ago. This is a new game, and the stakes are much higher. And the weather is supposed to be better.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian