Junior goalie Meghan Kennedy led Cornell women’s soccer to a 0-0 shutout against Penn on the road this weekend. The Red recorded its second consecutive shutout, after a 0-0 draw against Fairleigh Dickinson University last Sunday. Kennedy posted a career-high 10 saves to keep the Quakers at bay — four of which were made during double overtime periods.
Friday’s game marked the second consecutive draw between the Red (2-4-2, 0-1-1 Ivy) and the Quakers (2-5-3, 1-0-1) on Penn’s home-turf at Rhodes Field. However, the most recent match between the two teams — almost a year to the day from Friday’s game — was a very different story.
Penn crushed the Red, 5-0, on the Red’s home turf at Berman Field when they faced off in 2016. Last year’s defeat was a major blow to the Red’s early-season record, and came as its second consecutive conference loss.
This season seems to be headed in a different direction, in part due to Cornell’s iron-clad defensive line. After dropping its league-opener against Columbia, 2-0, the Red held tough against the Quakers’ aggressive offensive line, which outshot the Red, 28-10, in the first half.
“I think that our back line all performed so well and so cohesively that Penn had a hard time finding holes to play through,” Kennedy said. “We also had Shelby Wray shutting down one of their best players as a defensive midfielder, which stopped a lot of their offense.”
Wray, a new face in the lineup, is a freshman midfielder already making an impact on the team’s scoring potential. She was the force behind several of the Red’s near-misses against Penn.
Heading into Friday’s competition, the Quakers were riding a high from a big upset at Harvard, where they took down the reigning Ivy League Champions 1-0 on the Crimson’s home turf.
Although fully aware of the impressive upset, the Red was confident in its ability to match the Quakers, and its confidence was not misplaced.
“We all knew that we could definitely beat Penn,…