TOWSON, MD. 5/15/2016 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team behind a solid effort on both sides of the field advance to the NCAA Quarterfinal round. The Quakers defeated the Towson Tigers 12- 4 at Johnny Unitas Stadium, the first ever road win in NCAA play in program history. More importantly, it was one of the most consistent overall efforts by the Penn team this season.
“We had three games like that three times this year, Princeton and Cornell during the regular season and in this game,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett. “The attack set the tone going after it making the defense work, and the defense on the other side. The attack when is confident it gives the defense a lot of confidence. They wanted to get the ball back to the attack because we’ve got it going.”
This was the first time that the Quakers won two games in the NCAA Tournament since 2009, and now will be the in the quarterfinal round since 2010.
Credit much to the defense. Penn stifled the Towson attack giving up 16 shots, just 6 on goal. The Tigers scored at the 7:04 mark of the first half to cut the Quaker to lead to 3 – 2 on a free position shot by Natalie Sulmonte. That would be their last goal until there was 3:46 to play. Penn defender Megan Kelly attributed the effort to simple teamwork.
“Working together,” said Kelly. “We all knew we had to step up as a team, and that’s what defense is all about. We performed together as a team.”
“We watched the offense score and said, we must do our job on our end of the field.”
Early in the game the Quakers survived two yellow card, extra man advantages by the Tigers. That set the tome for the contest.
The Red and Blue offense put pressure on the Towson defense for most of the game getting shots on goal and foul calls. The Quakers outshot Towson by a 22 – 16 margin. Overall, the Red and Blue scored on 4 of 6 free position opportunities. Pinpoint passing by senior attacker Nina Corcoran was the root of the many fouls and shots. The Tigers were forced into 28 fouls, 21 in the first half. Penn attacker Iris Williamson lead the team with four goals, three from free position chances.
“We were trying to work the ball, move it, and attack,” Williamson said. “We went out there with that idea on mind and never gave up.”
The second half was all Quakers scoring the first seven goals after having a 5 – 2 lead at intermission.
“They did a good job of limiting shot opportunities,” said Towson Coach Sonia LaMonica. “We did not show the intensity we did on Friday. We need to come out that way.”
Caroline Cummings scored three goals and Sarah Barcia added two. The combination of Barcia and Nina Williamson struck twice in the space of nearly a minute midway through the second half to up the lead to 9 – 2 and took full control of the game.
The season continues for Penn as they move to the next round with the opponent and site still to be determined. And they can continue to keep the season rolling along and stay together as a team.
“We are very excited,” Kelly said. “It’s nice to have another week with the seniors. We said this can’t be our last game with them, that could not be our last practice yesterday. We are happy to have another week with them.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian