PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team continued its hot start in Ivy League play with a 5-4 overtime win against Dartmouth on Sunday. The Quakers play three non-conference games in a row, starting Wednesday when they travel to Rider to face the Broncs.
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The Series with Rider
The Quakers and the Broncs are meeting for just the fourth time in a series that has been fairly lopsided to date; in the previous three meetings, played over the last three years, Rider has outscored Penn 18-4 (8-3 in 2010, 7-1 in 2011, 3-0 last season).
The Broncs (8-3) will be hosting their annual Play 4 The Cure game on Wednesday, to raise donations and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Rider has won two in a row, defeating Saint Joseph’s 2-1 on Friday and Lehigh 3-2 on Sunday. One of its losses came to Ivy foe Brown, 3-2. Nicole Hareau leads the Broncs with 10 goals, while Sandra Penas has seven goals and nine assists for a team-high 23 points. Kalyn O’Brien has scored four goals. At the other end, Joelle Prettyman has played all but 22 minutes in the cage; she has a 1.28 goals-against average and a .725 save percentage.
*At 7-2, Penn is off to its best start since the 1995 team was also 7-2 after nine games. That 1995 squad would improve to 8-2 after 10 games en route to a 10-7 overall record.
*Penn is also 3-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since the 1995 team started league play 4-0.
*Last year the Quakers tied a program record for goals in a season, with 42. They are well on their way toward giving that mark a run this year, with 31 goals in their first nine games.
*Freshman forward Elise Tilton was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, becoming the third Penn player to earn Ivy weekly honors in the last three weeks (Jasmine Cole two weeks ago, Carly Sokach last week).
*Tilton earned her honor by scoring twice in Penn’s 5-4 overtime win against Dartmouth, the goals erased a 4-2 deficit and got the Quakers to OT. They were her sixth and seventh goals of the season.
*Cole leads Penn with 10 goals, while Emily Corcoran -- who was on the Ivy honor roll Tuesday after her OT winner against the Big Green -- has eight goals and four assists and is tied with Cole for the team lead with 20 points.
*Senior Sunny Stirewalt scored her first goal of 2013 on Sunday, off a Corcoran feed; she also has two assists this season.
*Sokach earned her Ivy League Player of the Week honor last week after her 12-save shutout at Harvard last Saturday.
*Sokach also had 11 saves in last Wednesday’s loss to Lafayette, giving her four double-digit save games this season. She also had 11 in a 2-1 loss at Bucknell, and 12 in a 4-3 win against Cornell.
*Sokach has a .785 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average for the season. In the last six games, however, the save percentage is up (.823) while the GAA is down (1.83).
*Cole already has two hat tricks in her collegiate career; it took her four games to do it. The first one came at Saint Joseph’s, and the second one came in her Ivy League debut against Cornell.
*Sophomore Elizabeth Hitti scored the goal in Penn’s 1-0 win at Harvard -- a nice homecoming for the Massachusetts resident -- and now has eight points on the season (3g, 2a). Senior Julie Tahan also has eight points (2g, 4a).
*It has been nice to see junior Alex Iqbal get back onto the score sheet in recent games; she assisted Tilton’s game-tying goal against Dartmouth, and also had an assist against Pacific. Iqbal was an All-Ivy performer as a freshman, but missed all of last year due to an injury.
*Tahan and Croddick were second-team All-Ivy players a year ago; both are back this season. Hitti, meanwhile, received honorable mention despite being a freshman. The team also welcomes back Iqbal, who was an All-Ivy honoree in 2011 as a freshman but missed all of last year due to injury.
Penn faces NCAA Division I newcomer UMass-Lowell Sunday afternoon in a neutral-site matchup at Yale University. The Quakers and Riverhawks will face off at noon.