PHILADELPHIA - You don't have to be a Penn fan or a Princeton fan. You just have to be a soccer fan -- or just a plain ol' sports fan, for that matter -- to appreciate what will take place at Princeton's Roberts Stadium Saturday afternoon.
In what is believed to be an historic event, the Quakers and Tigers will lock up in a soccer doubleheader of epic proportions Saturday. The women kick off at 4 p.m., while the men square off at 7 p.m.
And what makes it so special? In both cases, the Ivy League championship is on the line. That has never happened in the history of Ivy League soccer, a doubleheader occurring in which all four teams are the only ones left in the respective title chases.
On the women's side, Penn enters this final weekend of Ivy League play in first place at 4-1-1. Princeton is second at 4-2-0. The equation is simple -- a Quaker win or a tie gives them the Ivy title and the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship field. A Tiger victory, on the other hand, gives THEM both of those things.
The men's side is a little different, although what is not different is that Penn and Princeton are the only teams left who have a chance to win the Ivy crown. Both teams enter this penultimate league weekend 5-0-0 in conference play, with the Quakers ranked 13th and the Tigers 16th in the latest national coaches poll. The winner of Saturday's tilt will claim a share of the Ivy title but also wrap up the conference's automatic NCAA bid. The difference comes if the game ends in a tie; in that case, both teams will be 5-0-1 in league play, and nothing will be settled until next weekend's final games. (Penn hosts Harvard next Saturday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m.; one hour before that, Princeton will kick off with Yale in New Haven, Conn.)
Click here for directions to Roberts Field on the Princeton campus. Princeton does not charge admission for its soccer matches.