PHILADELPHIA – No. 13 Penn confirmed its status as one of the nation’s toughest defenses to play against this past week, allowing a combined seven goals in a pair of wins. The nation’s tenth-best defense was rewarded by the Ivy League this week with two players sharing Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week.
Defender Meg Markham and goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson – both first-team All-Ivy last season – became the first Penn players to share the League’s weekly defensive honors after powering Penn’s defensive unit to its lowest two-game goals allowed number since allowing six over two games in March of 2010.
Markham had 14 ground balls over the two wins last week, totaling seven in each contest. That number has her averaging 4.5 ground balls-per-game, good for the lead among all Division I players. She added seven caused turnovers and six draw controls, including five against Ivy rival Harvard in a 9-4 win. She is averaging 2.75 caused turnovers-per-game, a number which is second in the Ivy League and sixth overall in the nation. As a team, Penn is first in the Ivy League in caused turnovers and ninth among all Division I teams with 11.5 per game.
Ferguson made 14 combined saves in her two wins, including nine against the Crimson on Saturday. Her goals allowed during the week of three against Rutgers and four against Harvard make it 12 times in her 21 starts as a Quaker where Ferguson has conceded nine or fewer goals. She enters this week ranking 15th in the country in goals-against average (7.00) and 18th in save percentage (.517) after four games played.
The Quakers (3-1, 1-0 Ivy League) head on the road this weekend to take on Yale (5-0, 1-0 Ivy) in New Haven on March 15 at 1 p.m.