Field Hockey Pushes #1 Wildcats To Final Horn In 4-3 Loss

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team pushed the reigning national champions to the final whistle on Friday afternoon at Ellen Vagelos Field, carrying a lead into the half before falling to No. 1 Northwestern, 4-3.

Seniors Elita Van Staden spirit Gracyn Banks and sophomore Courtney Kenah all found the back of the cage in the game, as the Quakers had four total shots with three getting past the Wildcat keeper.

Quaker Notemeal

*The Wildcats were a perfect 6-0 entering the game, all against nationally ranked opponents. No other team they have played this season has scored three goals.

*Northwestern has never trailed this season until today’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads for the Quakers.

*In just her second collegiate start, Frederique Wollaert posted a career-high 10 saves in 60 minutes of work.

*Kenah’s goal is given here two for the season, the team leader in scoring. Bank and Van Staden each registered their first goals of the year.

How It Happened

A scoreless first quarter didn’t go without its action, as Northwestern fired off seven shots in the opening 15 minutes. However, the Quaker defense managed to make three saves, two of which came from Wollaert and the third on a defensive save by Banks.

Although the Wildcats continued to get shots off, including 11 more in the second frame, it was Penn that found the back of the cage first. Less than five minutes into the second, Van Staden found herself with the ball at the top of the circle. Making a quick cutback and spin, she squared up and slung a shot past the keeper into the cage for the 1-0 lead.

With almost two minutes left until half, Northwestern scored its first goal to draw the game even. But the Quakers weren’t done quite yet, adding a second goal in the final minute before the break. A penalty corner from the left side was inserted to the top of the circle. Van Staden passed the ball to Banks who turned the ball into some space where she launched the ball into traffic in front of the cage. Catching a stick of a defender, the ball made its way into the net for the 2-1 halftime lead.

Both defenses in the second half stepped up significantly, as the Wildcats only got six shots off in the final 30 minutes. However, three of those shots went into the back of the cage for Northwestern in the third quarter to jump out to a 4-2 advantage.

Right before the end of the third quarter, the Quakers cut the run by the Wildcats with another score. Kenah inserted on a penalty corner to the top of the circle where Maya Geller laid down the pass. Van Staden slung a shot to the left side of the cage where Kenah clipped the ball past the keeper for the goal.

In the final frame, Penn kept pushing to draw the score even but was held without a shot in the closing 15 minutes.

Up Next

The Quakers make a short drive on Sunday for their next game, traveling to Drexel for a noon start. Penn is currently riding a six-game winning streak against the Dragons, maintaining a 12-6 lead in the all-time series.


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