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Penn Holds Off Dartmouth, 8-7, in Hard-Fought Ivy League Contest

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By John and Matt Risley

PHILADELPHIA – The Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team battled and played another hard-fought one-goal contest, but fell to conference rival Penn, 8-7, Friday afternoon at Dunning-Cohen Champions Field at Penn Park.

A back-and-forth affair saw the Big Green fight their way to two separate ties in the second half only to see the Quakers net two of the final three tallies to earn the one-goal victory.

For Dartmouth (8-4), it was the first Ivy League loss of 2013, having entered the match-up tied atop the league standings with both Penn and Princeton at 4-0. The Quakers (7-4) now hold the advantage in the race for the Ancient Eight title with a 5-0 conference record.

Junior Liz Calby, sophomore Sarah Byrne and freshman Jaclyn Leto all scored a pair of goals in the game for the visitors. Sophomore Christine Lushefski added the other marker, scoring the first of the second half for the Green.

Despite being saddled with the loss, junior goalkeeper Kristin Giovanniello turned aside a season-high 11 shots from the Penn offense, including making seven saves in the first half alone.

"Kristen was stellar today and I thought the defense in front of her was very strong," head coach Amy Patton said. "Penn stuck to its game plan and we weren't able to at the same level. 

"We didn't deserve to win, honestly, but now we are going to move on to play the best team in the nation on Sunday and get better from it," Patton continued. 

In addition to her two goals, Byrne added an assist for a career-high three points, while Hana Bowers was held without a score for the first time since last spring’s regular-season finale, but did manage an assist on the afternoon.

The Quakers’ attack ran through Caroline Bunting and Maddie Poplawski who had a combined five goals between the two with Bunting picking up the hat trick. Goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson had seven saves in the game with five coming in the final stanza as the Big Green looked to tie things up with a late offensive surge.

Friday marked the seventh one-goal game of the 2013 season in 12 total outings for the Green and White, who now boast a 5-2 mark in those contests.

Dartmouth will turn its attention to a Sunday matinee against No. 1 Maryland in College Park at noon before returning home next week for another Ivy League showdown with Princeton on Saturday, April 20 at Scully-Fahey Field (12 p.m.).