If you like high-scoring and record-breaking field hockey, then Fridays match between Penn and Saint Josephs would have been a great watch.
But if you prefer a two-sided game with less scoring and more reliance on defense, then the Quakers game on Sunday game was ideal.
For Penn (3-1), it was a tale of two days, even though it won both contests. The first was captured with relative ease, as the Quakers opened the scoring with two goals in the first three minutes from sophomore attacker Alexa Hoover.
Although Penn pounced to a 4-0 lead within the first 10 minutes and ultimately held up its advantage in a 7-3 win, coach Colleen Fink found that the start was a good teaching experience.
Obviously, it wasnt necessarily what we had drawn up. You always want to come out strong, Fink said. Our expectation is for our offense to score and our defense to hold it down defensively. I just think it was a big learning experience; we cant expect our offense to score four goals every game and not win.
Prior to the break, the Hawks (2-2) started to outplay the Quakers to the tune of two late first-half goals. After conceding two goals in the waning minutes of a losing effort to Liberty on Sept. 4, Fink knew that this mild comeback needed to be stopped before a repeat of Penns season opener came to fruition.
With that in mind, the squad showed on Friday that it could play with the best, as the Quakers routed the Hawks in the second half. On the score-sheet, a 3-1 differential in the final 35 minutes seems to denote a rather close game, but it came at a time when the Red and Blue started shifting their lineup to ensure playing time for all.
The second half saw three more goals from Hoover, who finished the game with Penn records in goals (five) and points (10). To date, Hoover has scored 11 of the teams 17 goals and is just three tallies away from matching her superb 2014 campaign. She credits her teammates for her success, with playmakers like senior midfielder Elizabeth Hitti and junior forward Elise Tilton leading the way.
For Hoover, this could be a record-breaking season. After four games, Hoover needs to finish just nine more times to capture the Quakers season goal-scoring record. The Collegeville, Pa., native believes that the developing chemistry between the midfield and attack will continue to help the goal-scoring.
Weve come a long way, she said. Where first we would have to look up and find each other, ... now we can just know where the other one is going to play.
Going into Sundays game, Fink wanted the team to continue to prevent entry balls that result in high-quality chances. The team was mostly successful in that regard against Temple the Owls had just over 40 percent of their shots reach the cage.
Against the Owls (2-4), the Quakers took their foot off the gas pedal and had to rely on sophomore goalkeeper Elizabeth Matas terrific play to secure the 2-1 victory, but they outlasted Temple in a hard-fought battle.
After a scoreless first half, the Owls opened the scoring but could not hold on as the Red and Blue fought back with a vengeance. Hoover and Hitti were the goalscorers as the team marched to its third straight win.
Penn will look to continue to play their game the way they are used to on Wednesday afternoon, when they take on Villanova at home.