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Women's soccer team suffers fifth Ivy League loss against Penn

The women's soccer team lost in overtime for the second week in a row, falling to Penn 0-1 last Saturday in Philadelphia. Including the previous week's loss to Harvard, the Bears (7-8, 1-5 Ivy) have now dropped all but one of their last eight games against Ivy League rivals.

Much like in the Bears' Crimson matchup, the golden goal came within the first five minutes of overtime. The Quakers (9-5-1, 5-1 Ivy) needed a goal to secure a victory and keep on fighting for the Ivy title, and they found it with forward Megan York.

Erin Thayer played the ball into the area from the midfield in the fifth minute and after an aerial dispute, the ball landed in front of York, who moved it to the left and fired it into the back of the net.

The shot was the first in extra time, and York's first shot on goal after trying four times in regular play. Head Coach Phil Pincince said he was disappointed in the unfortunate result, describing overtime as a period where "one bounce, one finish, one opportunity" can decide the match.

The two teams remained scoreless mainly due to the lack of clear opportunities. The Quakers outshot the Bears 8-6 in the first 90 minutes, and only two of each team's shots were on target.

In the eighth minute, Penn forward Kerry Scalora headed a cross toward the right post, but goalkeeper Amber Bledsoe '14 was able to get to it. Then in the 42nd minute, the Quakers' Erin Mikolai appeared dangerously in Bruno's box. But Bledsoe was once again able to keep Penn off the board. 

Pincince praised Bledsoe's performance. "Amber had an amazing game, making a few dynamic saves," he said.

Just 55 seconds into the second half, Louisa Pitney '14 had a shot on goal, but goalie Sarah Banks easily got to it. The rest of the half dragged on slowly, with neither side finding the target with any more of their shots.

Pincince said he was pleased with his team's defensive performance in the second half. "I thought we did a real nice job in the second half against a very potent offense," he said.

But despite this strong defensive showing, Bledsoe said the Bears had a difficult time scoring. "We played a lot as a team, but we just didn't have much of an offense going," she said. "We didn't have many dangerous opportunities to score."

This lack of second half productivity carried the game into overtime, where York - who had not scored all season - managed to snatch the victory for Penn. This was the fourth time in seven matchups between the Bears and the Quakers that the game went into overtime.

Bledsoe said it was frustrating to "come away with keeping them scoreless 90 minutes to give up a goal in overtime."

The Bears now look ahead to tomorrow evening's match against Yale, their last home game of the season. Though the two teams will still face off next week in a non-conference matchup, this will be the last Ivy game for both teams. The Fox Soccer Channel will televise it nationally.

"We're really looking forward to our last game," Bledsoe said.

"Everybody's been excited since last year," when the televised game was announced, Pincince added. "We're excited - we're hoping to have a good crowd."



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