PHILADELPHIA – Junior Erin Brennan was a one-woman show on offense for the first 35 minutes of No. 4 Penn’s game with Yale on Saturday, scoring the Red and Blue’s first three goals as the Quakers downed the Bulldogs, 7-2.
Brennan had two goals in the first 11 minutes of the game and added her third 4:46 into the second half, breaking what was then a 2-2 tie with the game-winner. Her strike early in the second was the catalyst for a five-goal run by Penn, breaking the game wide open and improving Penn’s 2011 record to 6-0. On the game-winner, Brennan scooped up a ground ball on the fly and broke down field leaving Yale defenders in her wake for her third unassisted goal of the game.
In addition, the Quakers have now won 31 Ivy League games in a row, and 33 games overall against Ancient Eight opponents when the two games from the Ivy League Tournament are factored in. However, the 31 wins is what the official streak is at in terms of conference winning streaks, of which Penn is second all-time in the Ivy League behind Harvard’s 36 from 1987-1993.
While Brennan had three goals, sophomore Maddie Poplawski added two in the win for Penn. The two scores matched her total from the first five games combined as the second-year player has been involved much more on the defensive side after a 21-goal rookie season. With six different players over the four-goal mark for Penn entering the game, Poplawski hasn’t been needed on the attack as much, but her involvement in the second half helped spur the five-goal spurt that won the game.
Emily Leitner was again a rock in goal for the Quakers, making five saves and allowing just the two goals. She made four of those saves in the second half, all of them coming after Penn had taken the 3-2 lead.
The Quakers took 11 more shots than Yale, with a 23-12 edge in attempts. 20 of those shots reached goal for Penn. On the draw, Penn gave itself an advantage in possession with eight draws controls to three for Yale, including a 5-2 edge in the second half. Further adding to Penn’s possession edge were Yale’s 11 turnovers to just four by Penn. Caroline Bunting forced three of Yale’s turnovers while also picking up two draw controls during an all-around great day in the midfield. Poplawski had four draw controls and three ground balls in addition to her pair of goals.
Leitner’s counterpart in goal from Yale, Whitney Quackenbush, was impressive in goal for the Bulldogs, making 13 saves, including eight in the second half. Caroline Crow and Myra Trivellas had the two goals for Yale which fell to 1-5 this season.
Penn heads to Johns Hopkins on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. game with the Blue Jays that will be televised live on ESPNU. The Quakers are 2-0 in the Ivy League, the only team 2-0 in the league at the moment. Dartmouth and Princeton are 1-0.