May 10, 2009

Penn Holds off Fairfield for First-Round Win

from press release

PHILADELPHIA--The No. 4 Penn women's lacrosse team scored five goals in each half to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Duke, who defeated Virginia Sunday, will travel to Philadelphia, May 16 to face Penn, again at Drexel's Vidas Field.

The Quakers got on the board early with a goal from Ali DeLuca three minutes into the contest. The junior had a solid game for Penn with two goals, two assists, four caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Though Penn drew first blood, Fairfield struck back with two quick goals to hold a 2-1 lead. With just less than 15 minutes to play, senior Becca Edwards scored to tie it up. Nearing the six-minute mark, junior Emma Spiro converted on an eight-meter opportunity and reclaimed the lead for Penn.

Ivy League Rookie of the Year Erin Brennan and DeLuca closed out the scoring in the half, giving the Quakers a 5-2 advantage at the half.

After the break, Edwards stung the Stags with her second goal just two minutes into the half. Fairfield cut its deficit back to within two with 17:47 left to play.

The Quakers outscored the Stags 4-2 over the next 15 minutes and held a 10-6 lead with six minutes to go, but Fairfield would not go quietly. In the final six minutes, the Stags aggressively sought the goal and were rewarded with two free position goals. 

However, it was the Quakers' Emily Szelest's crucial save on another attempt that gave Penn possession and the mental momentum to hold off the Stags in the final 1:30. The junior made six saves in the game. Her Fairfield counterpart Lauren Chatnik made 11, including eight in the second half, in the game.

Check back for a special Penn Sports Network video package, appearing later today. Also stay tuned for continuing coverage of Penn's run in the NCAA tournament.


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