HANOVER, N.H. - From the onset, it appeared that Saturday's game at Chase Field between Penn and the Dartmouth field hockey team would be a defensive battle. That appearance rang true as the Big Green held off the Quakers for the 2-0 Ivy League victory.
Dartmouth sophomore Ali Savage (Orange, New South Wales, Australia) snapped the 0-0 tie early in the second half with what proved to be the game-winning goal, while sophomore goalkeeper Ellen Meyer (Prospect, Ky.) earned her first career shutout.
Meyer saw the ball well on this day, stopping all four shots that made their way through traffic and on goal. Coming off her first collegiate win last Sunday at Holy Cross, Meyer got right back in the swing of things, recording the Big Green's (5-4, 2-1 Ivy) first clean sheet since Oct. 29 of last season, a 1-0 win at Harvard.
Following a three-game slide, Dartmouth has now responded
with a four-game win streak that has pushed its record over .500 for the first
time since the season opener at UMass on Aug. 31. Penn drops to 5-4 overall,
while the conference loss leaves its Ivy League record at 1-2.
"We had some great chances today which I thought was encouraging," head coach Amy Fowler said. "I thought Penn's goalkeeper and defense played well in clearing out any second chances, something that kept us from really opening up the game in terms of scoring.
"I'm happy with the outcome and that we were able to get the shutout. We have a much better feeling of where we are after this game as we didn't give anything up and played well both offensively and defensively throughout."
After a scoreless first half of play that saw the Green and White attempt 14 shots, with just two finding their way on goal, the stage had been set for a defensive battle.
However, it took Savage just 51 seconds of play into the second frame to break the tie and set her team up with the first lead of the afternoon, 1-0.
Savage's blast from just inside the circle's edge found its way over the right shoulder of Quakers goalkeeper Carly Sokach and was the result of strong ball movement by the home team in its offensive end.
With 10:48 showing on the clock and the Big Green still holding on to the one-goal advantage, senior co-captain Maya Herm (Bethesda, Md.) found space on the left side of the field and moved in on goal. Gaining entrance to the circle untouched by the Penn defense, Herm unleashed a powerful shot that found its way by Sokach, echoing off the back board for the 2-0 lead, one they would never relinquish as the final moments ticked off the game clock.
The Big Green dominated the scoresheet, outshooting their opponent, 22-11, while also holding a key advantage in penalty corners, 7-4.
Sokach finished the game with eight stops, but was saddled with the loss after allowing the two second-half goals.
Looking ahead, it will be a busy week of non-conference play for Dartmouth as it will be on the road against Providence on Wednesday (Oct. 3) and against No. 1 North Carolina in Boston on Sunday (Oct. 7).