PRINCETON, NJ 5/3/2016 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team withstood a furious rally by the Big Green of Dartmouth to earn a 16 – 14 Ivy League Tournament semifinal victory. The Red and Blue will play in the title tilt and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Ivy crown is a goal for this team, and they will play for the crown.
“I am so excited as it has been one of our goals all season,” said freshman midfielder Elyse Decker. “To reach that is exciting. To win it is the more exciting part. That’s what we are looking forward to.”
The Quakers were led by freshman midfielder Elyse Decker who matched her season total with 5 goals giving her 10 for the year. She also contributed 6 ground balls. Senior attack Emily Rogers-Healion assisted on five goals to give her a team-best 33. Decker credited her teammates for her performance. Quite a curtain raiser for the first year player.
“It was very exciting for me on the offensive end,” Decker said. “It helped build my confidence when I saw some of those goals go in. I am going to look forward and keep working on things that I have to improve.”
The Red and Blue started quickly and established themselves on defense early in the game. The defensive effort translated itself on offense.
“I thought we had some nice stops on the defensive end that gave us the ball more,” said Penn Coach Karin Corbett. “I thought our attack was clicking, moving the ball well, finding the open kid, and finishing our shots.”
The effort on the defense came up big for Penn to hold off a late Dartmouth charge. The Quakers held a 15 – 7 lead with 18:25 to play, and they appeared to be in control. However, the Big Green was building a huge advantage on Draw Controls ending the game with a 26 – 6 edge in that category. Possession of the ball pushed Dartmouth to a 7 – 1 run to end the game. The issue was not decided until a save by Penn goal keeper Mikaila Cheesman with 18 seconds left, one of her 11 in the game.
“Dartmouth is a really good team,” Corbett said. “They came back on the draw. They just win draws. No matter what we tried to do, they still won it. It’s hard when you don’t have the ball very much. It wears your defense down. We were able to close it out.”
Sophomore midfielder Gabby Rosenzweig added 2 goals and 5 assists for the Red and Blue. Senior attack Caroline Cummings, freshman midfielder Zoe Belodeau, and freshman attack Zoe Kraus scored two goals apiece.
Midfielder Katie Borque scored 4 goals for the Big Green and attack Kierra Sweeney netted 3. Midfielder Kathryn Giroux won 16 draw controls and Claire Marshall earned five.
Penn has played in all of the Ivy Tournament games. Now it comes down to Sunday on the Princeton home field.
Written By: Glenn Papazian