Penn Uses 10-Goal Second Half to Storm Past Lehigh

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh scored the game's first two goals and was within 3-2 at the half, but Penn proved too much as the Quakers exploded for 10 in the second to down the Mountain Hawks, 13-4 on a chilly Wednesday evening. Four different Lehigh players scored goals, led by a goal and assist from senior Julie McBrien.

“The game plan worked in the first half, then in the second half, not so much,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “They pulled away a little bit in the beginning of the second half. When you start to have separation by three and four goals, you have to go for it and get shots. I'm pleased with our first half, displeased with our second.”

Junior Chelsea Retaleato and freshman Nicole Isdaner gave Lehigh a 2-0 lead barely five minutes into the game. Isdaner's goal (from McBrien) made it 2-0 at 24:57. However, Penn responded to take a 3-2 halftime lead, upping it to 5-2 less than nine minutes into the second before McBrien cut it to 5-3 with 19:49 still remaining.

Penn responded with an 8-0 run, ending with a Lehigh goal from Kendall Garden with six seconds remaining for the 13-4 final.

“It's tough continuing to face top 20 caliber competition,” said Redfern. “Our schedule is hard. But so far, we're keeping our brains on the great competition that we've had, playing teams that are strong and doing well. Hopefully it's making us better every single time for a team like American on Sunday.”

Penn held the final edge in shots (21-14), groundballs (17-12) and draw controls (10-9). Lehigh had 17 turnovers to the Quakers' 13 while junior Alexandra Fitzpatrick made four saves before being relieved by senior MaryLeah DiNisco. Lucy Ferguson had five for Penn.

Lehigh remains home to host American on Sunday in a crucial Patriot League match-up. Opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m.

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – What at first glance appeared to potentially be an uneasy night in the Lehigh Valley quickly turned into a convincing win for Penn. The Quakers used a 10-goal second half to blow past Lehigh, 13-4, on Wednesday.

Before the game was more than five minutes old, the Quakers were trailing by two goals, 2-0. From there, the Quakers scored 13 of the game's final 15 goals to cruise to their fifth win in six games.

Meredith Cain tied her career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) to lead the Quakers. She was joined atop the goal-scoring list by Tory Bensen who also netted four – a new career high for the junior. Maddie Poplawski scored one goal, but was dominant on the draw with a season-high six draw controls to help Penn win that battle on the circle, 10-9.

In a game where just four goals were given up, the defense was undoubtedly a start. The Quakers held Lehigh without a goal on five free position attempts – including an 0 for 4 night for Julie McBrien who entered the season with a 10 for 16 record on eight meter shots. Lely DeSimone was all over the field, with four caused turnovers and two ground balls. As a team, Penn caused 14 of Lehigh's 17 turnovers with Shannon Mangini, Allie Martin, Iris Williamson and Courtney Tomchik each adding two.

The Quakers fell behind early, conceding the first two goals of the game just five minutes into the contest. Lehigh got on the board quickly, forcing a Penn turnover off the opening draw and connecting on a Chelsea Retaleato goal 1:07 into the game. Three minutes later, the Quakers again coughed up the ball, this time on a clear which led to a Nicole Isdaner goal at the 5:03 mark.

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