PHILADELPHIA – After an overtime loss at Columbia last Friday, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team faces a critical second half of the Ivy League stretch if the Quakers want to remain in the Ancient Eight championship hunt. That stretch starts Saturday, as the Red and Blue host Yale on Ellen Vagelos Field at 11:30 a.m.
Directions to Ellen Vagelos Field!
Around the Ivies This Weekend
Penn (3-1) and Yale (2-2) will open up Ivy League play this weekend, facing off a half-hour before Princeton (4-0) meets Harvard (1-3) in Cambridge and Cornell (2-2) hosts Brown (1-3) in Ithaca, N.Y. On Sunday, Columbia (2-2) is at Dartmouth (1-3) for a noon start.
The Series with Yale
The Quakers and the Bulldogs have met 37 times, with Penn holding a 23-12-2 lead in the series. Last year, Penn defeated Yale in New Haven, 3-2, to snap a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. Seven of the last eight games in this series have been one-goal affairs, with two of them going overtime. The outlier? Try 2010, when the current seniors were freshmen and Yale slaughtered Penn 10-0 in New Haven.
The Bulldogs (6-7, 2-2 Ivy) had a successful pair of wins last weekend, defeating Dartmouth and Maine by 4-3 scores. Yale’s other Ivy win came over Cornell, while the losses have come to Harvard and Princeton. Erica Borgo, a first-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, leads Yale with 20 points (6g, 8a), while Georgia Holland has a team-high seven goals and Emily Schuckert leads the Bulldogs with nine assists. Gabrielle Garcia has four goals, as does Schuckert. Nicole Wells (3g, 3a) was second-team All-Ivy last year as a freshman. In goal, Emily Cain has eight starts, a 2.83 goals-against average and a .714 save percentage while Heather Schlesier has five starts, a 2.66 GAA and a .756 save percentage.
*At 10-3, Penn has reached a double-digit win total for the first time since 2004; that team shared the Ivy League title with Harvard.
*Prior to the overtime loss at Columbia, Penn was 3-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since the 1995 team started league play 4-0.
*After tying the program record for goals in a season last year, with 42, the Quakers have already shattered the mark this year with 50 goals in 13 games. Penn entered the week fifth nationally in goals per game (3.85) and seventh in points per game (10.08).
*Freshman forward Jasmine Cole was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, after she scored twice in the Ivy loss at Columbia and added a goal and two assists in Sunday’s win over Appalachian State. It marked the second time she has received the award this season.
*Cole entered the week leading Penn, the Ivy League and the nation in goals per game (1.23) and points per game (2.69).
*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.
*Junior forward Emily Corcoran was named Ivy League Player of the Week and ECAC Offensive Player of the Week last week. She earned the award by recording three goals -- one an overtime game-winner -- and three assists in non-conference wins over Rider and UMass Lowell.
*Corcoran is the third different Penn player to earn the Ivy honor this season (also Cole and Carly Sokach). Amazingly, the last time the Quakers had three different women earn Ivy Player of the Week honors was 1988 (Nicky Hitchens, Sue Donohue, Ellen Vagelos).
*Corcoran entered the week third in the Ivy League and ninth nationally in points per game (2.46), 13th nationally in assists per game (0.62), and 15th in goals per game (0.92).
*A fourth player, freshman forward Elise Tilton, was the Ivy League Rookie of the Week after scoring twice in the final 10 minutes of Penn’s 5-4 overtime win against Dartmouth; the goals erased a 4-2 deficit and got the Quakers to OT.
*After scoring twice against Appalachian State last Sunday, Tilton has 10 goals and 21 points this season.
*At the other end, Sokach is 17th nationally in save percentage (.746) and 26th in saves per game (6.54).
*Sokach also has five double-digit-save games this season. She had 11 in a 2-1 loss at Bucknell; 12 in a 4-3 win against Cornell; 12 in a shutout win at Harvard; 11 in a loss to Lafayette; and 12 in the OT win at Rider.
*Penn has gone to overtime three times this season, winning two of them (against Dartmouth and at Rider). Corcoran has scored the winner in both of those contests.
*Senior Julie Tahan was on the Ivy League’s weekly honor roll on Tuesday; she scored a goal at Columbia, then added a goal and an assist vs. Appalachian State. She now has 15 points on the season (4g, 7a).
*Another senior, Sunny Stirewalt, has scored in three of Penn’s last four games; last Sunday, she scored twice and added an assist against the Mountaineers. Stirewalt now has 11 points (4g, 3a).
*Sophomore Elizabeth Hitti scored the only goal in Penn’s 1-0 win at Harvard, a nice homecoming for the Massachusetts resident. She has 10 points this season(4g, 2a).
*Junior defender MaryRose Croddick, who sets most of Penn’s penalty corners, has three assists this season.
*It has been nice to see junior Alex Iqbal get back onto the score sheet in recent games; she now has three assists this season. 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.
Penn closes out this three-game homestand with city rival Villanova on Wednesday. The Quakers and Wildcats will face off at 4 p.m.