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Penn Claims WLax Crown

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No. 3 Penn won its first outright Ivy League championship Saturday, beating Brown, 12-4, at Stevenson Field.

The Quakers completed a perfect Ivy season with the win over the Bears and broke the program record for wins in a season (13). Penn has now won a program-record 10 in a row.

The victory didn't come easily for Penn, who overcame a slow first half with three goals in the first five minutes of the second. Both teams seemed sluggish in the first, perhaps as a result of the warm weather, but combined for 12 goals in the second half.

Penn dominated the game offensively, ripping off 29 shots to Brown's 13. The Quakers had 10 different goalscorers.

Despite holding the Bears scoreless in the first half, the Quakers had an unfulfilling period, carrying a 3-0 lead into the break. Melissa Lehman scored first seven minutes into the game and Emma Spiro converted Chelsea Kocis' free position pass three minutes later. After a lull, Rachel Manson took a feed from Muller to make it 3-0 with 13:29 to go.

The Quakers weren't without their chances to score in the first half -- Allison Ambrozy hit the pipe on her first shot of the game and Becca Edwards had a goal disallowed on a crease violation.

The start of the second, however, was a whole other ballgame as Penn rushed out with a 4-0 run. Brown finally got on the board nine minutes into the half, and the two sides traded goals from there on out, but the outcome was never in doubt as the Quakers cleared the bench.

Sarah Waxman and Emily Szelest split time in goal, with Waxman picking up her 13th win. Szelest, despite playing only 9:30, was outstanding, making three saves and allowing a goal in that span to preserve the game.

Karen Jann shined on defense, snagging three draw controls during the 4-0 run at the start of the second half. Lehman and Manson were Penn's only multiple-goal scorers, each netting two, while Muller finished with a goal and an assist.

Penn will take a two-week break for finals before closing out the regular season at Syracuse on May 6.

- A.S.