College Field Hockey
Rider University 3, University of Pennsylvania 0
PHILADELPHIA, PA- During the Revolutionary War, Ben Franklin, the founder of the University of Pennsylvania, enlisted the Spanish to provide financial aid to the Americans.
The Rider Broncs enlisted their own Spanish warrior, junior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain), to provide aid in defeating Penn at Franklin Field Wednesday night.
Penas scored two goals to lead Rider to a fourth straight victory.
Penas gave Rider (4-1) a 1-0 lead just 2:49 into the game with a backhand goal after senior Marlaine Schneider (Feasterville, Pa./Neshaminy) cleared the ball up the field.
Penas scored another backhanded goal at the 12:47 mark for a 2-0 lead.
"The backhand is her preferred shot," said Rider head coach Lori Hussong. "She is very proficient at it. Most players don't shoot that. She's left-handed so that is her natural inclination."
All field hockey sticks are made to shoot right-handed. "She's darn good at that backhanded shot," Hussong said. "It surprises the goalie and she hits it hard."
"I think it can be an advantage because the goalie does not expect it," Penas said with her strong Spanish accent. "They are used to seeing the shots come from the right side."
Penas now has 37 career goals, seventh most ever at Rider. Her 91 career points is now eighth most in program history.
Senior Gabby Burgo (Collingswood) scored with less than 9:00 left on an assist by Schneider to give Rider a 3-0 lead. It was the team-high third goal of the season (tied with Penas) and the 10th of her career.
"Marlaine did not get credit for an assist on the first goal of the game but she set it up with a beautiful long pass to Sandra," Hussong said. "She was a real workhorse the entire game. She was all over the field."
Freshman goalkeeper Alicia Carthan (Bordentown, NJ/Bordentown) made two saves for the shutout, including a save on a penalty stroke in the final minutes of the game. "That's not very common that a stroke is saved," Hussong said. "That's a big deal for Alicia."
Rider out-shot Penn (3-2) 13-5. Rider had 10 penalty corners to Penn's two. "It was harder than the score," Hussong said. "Our kids stood up to the challenge."
Penn's 3-1 start was its best since 1997. Penn entered the game 2-0 at home this year. "Penn is so much improved over the last two years," Hussong said.
The Broncs defeated the Quakers 7-1 at Rider last season and 8-3 here in Philly in 2010 in the only other meetings between these two teams.
Ben Franklin was a true polymath, that is, a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.
Franklin might have been disappointed at his institution's loss Wednesday night, but would have been proud of Penas, a true Renaissance woman. "Without (graduated All-American) Virginia (Egusquiza), teams are collapsing their defenses on Sandra," Hussong said. "They are putting three defenders on her. She's learning a new role as a complimentary player. She does it all and is now enjoying creating opportunities for others, but tonight she was able to get her offense going with a breakout game."
A Renaissance woman is one who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. On Wednesday night Penas proved she is a true Renaissance woman, at least on the field hockey field.
"As a junior I feel I have more responsibility on the team," Penas said. "I just do whatever Coach asks me to do."
Franklin would have been proud.