March 27, 2009

Strong Start Leads Penn Over Columbia

from press release

NEW YORK --The No. 2 Penn women's lacrosse team survived Columbia's eight-goal surge in the second half and won 16-11. The Quakers remain undefeated this season at 8-0.

In a tale of two halves, Penn came out ahead thanks to a 13-3 first half. Juniors Ali DeLuca and Emma Spiro led the Red and Blue with four goals each.

The first half looked like most of Penn's games this season. Opening with an early goal on and eight-meter shot, Ali DeLuca scored twice more before six minutes had expired. The Quakers cruised to an 11-0 lead and did not let Columbia into the game until 6:36 when Lauren Olsen netted one. That sparked a three-goal run over the next three minutes, but Penn punctuated the period with two more scores and held a 13-3 at the break.

Nearly every statistical category was flipped in the second half. Where Penn had out shot the Lions 20-5 in the first, Columbia dominated the shots 16-7. On free position attempts, Penn made four in the first to Columbia's one, but that was switched in the second.

One area that Penn did stay consistent in is allowing few assists. Despite allowing the most goals of the season, the Penn defense did not allow the Lions to set up plays. Five of Columbia's goals came on free position shots and the other six were all unassisted.

Both teams saw minutes from two goalies. For Penn, junior Emily Szelest made four saves in 40 minutes in goal. Newcomer Emily Leitner made one save in her 20 minutes.

For Columbia, Emma Mintz made six saves in the first and was swapped out for Karlee Blank in the second. Blank made two saves in the second.

The game kicked off a three-game road stretch for Penn. The Quakers will head south to Johns Hopkins on Wednesday. The game is set for 7 p.m.

Members of the Penn women's lacrosse team will be honored tomorrow at the National Lacrosse League's Philadelphia Wings game at the Wachovia Center. That game is set for 7:30 p.m.

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