Senior Bienenfeld's game-winner in double OT gives Red and Blue weekend sweep at Rhodes Field
Entering this weekend's Penn Invitational, the women's soccer team was one of the many Quakers squads that had yet to score a goal, much less win a game.
But after all was said and done, Penn had accomplished both of those things as part of an Ivy sweep of the Penn Invitational.
On Friday, the Quakers picked up their first victory with a 1-0 triumph over Hofstra. Yesterday, the Quakers added two more goals - the latter one in dramatic fashion - to top Richmond 2-1 in double overtime.
Ivy League rival Princeton won both its games at the event, giving the Ancient Eight a perfect 4-0 mark at Rhodes Field this weekend.
The Red and Blue's first opponent, the Hofstra Pride, participated in the NCAA College Cup last season and entered the match with a 3-1-0 record this year.
Penn, which shut out Rice - another 2005 College Cup participant - in a scoreless draw last Monday, remained unfazed by the Pride's resume.
After a lackluster beginning, the Quakers took control going into halftime thanks to a goal from sophomore Nicki White on a cross from freshman Jess Rothenheber in the 42nd minute.
In a match highlighted by physical play, the Quakers displayed the necessary aggressiveness to hang on for the victory, despite the Pride controlling the ball for much of the second half.
With its first win under its belt, Penn took the field on less than 48 hours rest to face the winless Spiders.
Once again, fitness and stamina became the Quakers main concern - and nearly led to their downfall against Richmond.
Outplaying the obviously worn-down hosts, Richmond struck first in the 38th minute, beating the Penn defense to go up 1-0. The Spiders goal was the first score allowed by Penn's freshman goalkeeper, Cailly Carroll.
Carroll and the Quakers got past the early setback, however, and took advantage of the few opportunities they were given from that point on.
The first such opportunity came less than five minutes after halftime, when Penn's Rachel Fletcher put the ball into the upper corner of Richmond's net to tie the game.
Despite a combined 19 shots by both teams in the second half, no more goals were scored during regulation, and the Invitational's final game was sent into overtime.
After the first overtime saw no goals scored, the game went to a second period. For nine minutes and 17 seconds, it appeared the second OT would yield similar results.
But in the game's final minute, Tracy Bienenfeld broke the tie with a shot the Spiders goalie could not possibly ensnare, giving the Quakers a dramatic 2-1 win.
"No one could have saved that goal," said Penn coach Darren Ambrose of Bienenfeld's bullet.
That being said, Ambrose took the team's second victory with a grain of salt.
"I think [the Quakers girls] have a general feeling of disappointment that they didn't play well," said a disheartened Ambrose. "Our lack of fitness absolutely showed. We were not ready to play."
The unbeaten Penn women will travel to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for their next match on Friday.