PHILADELPHIA - It was dramatic right up until the finish, but the Penn women's soccer team is the 2010 Ivy League champion and will represent the conference in this year's NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. The Quakers will play in the first round Friday in Morgantown, W.Va., facing in-state foe Penn State at Dick Dlesk Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University.
NCAA Championship Regional Schedule (Morgantown, W.Va.)
Friday, Nov. 12
Match 1 - Penn vs. Penn State, 3:30 p.m. (Live Stats / Live Video Stream)
Match 2 - Morehead State vs. (3) West Virginia, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 14
Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, 1 p.m.
Tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for youths and senior citizens.
Penn in the NCAA Championship
Penn is playing in the NCAAs for the fourth time in program history. The Quakers are looking for their first win.
1999: at James Madison 1, Penn 0 (first round)
2001: Villanova 2, Penn 0 (first round in State College, Pa.)
2007: James Madison 2, Penn 0 (first round in Morgantown, W.Va.)
Penn vs. Penn State: Amazingly, despite their relative proximity, this will be the first time the Quakers and Nittany Lions have met on the pitch in women's soccer.
About Penn State: The Nittany Lions (10-8-1) tied for the Big Ten title and did so in dramatic fashion -- Ali Schaefer scored with just 17 seconds left in the second overtime to defeat Michigan, 1-0, and give PSU a share of the title with Ohio State. Incredibly, this is Penn State's 13th straight conference championship. Penn State started the season 1-6-2, but has rounded into form lately; the Lions enter the postseason having won four matches in a row and seven of their last eight. Tani Costa and Christine Nairn lead the scoring charge with 20 points apiece, while Danielle Toney had 18 and Hayley Brock has 14. At the other end, Krissy Tribbett has played all but 35 minutes in the cage; she boasts a 1.20 goals-against average and has 51 saves on the season. Penn State is one of six Big Ten teams in the 64-team NCAA field.
I Know You! Penn might have an insider on its staff...or does Penn State have the insider? The Quakers' first-year assistant coach, Kaleen Adami, played her college soccer at Penn State from 2004-08 and was a three-time Academic All-Big recipient.
*Penn is the Ivy League champion for the second time in four years and third time overall (the first came in 2001). This year's title is the Quakers' second outright, the other coming in 2007 when the current senior class -- Kaitlin Campbell, Sarah Friedman, Kristin Kaiser and Marisa Schoen -- were freshmen.
*The Quakers went 4-1-2 in conference play and clinched the title -- and accompanying NCAA bid -- with a 0-0 tie at Princeton last Saturday. (The Ivy League does not conduct a postseason tournament, but last Saturday's game was a de facto championship match as the Quakers were first and the Tigers second in the Ivy standings.)
*IN THE NATIONAL STATS: Friedman is 27th in assists per game (0.47); as a team, Penn is 21st in shutout percentage (0.529 per game).
*IN THE IVY LEAGUE STATS: Friedman is tops in assists per game (0.47); freshman Kerry Scalora is tied for ninth in points per game (0.75); and three players are in the top 10 in goals per game -- junior Ursula Lopez-Palm (6th, 0.36), Scalora (8th, 0.31) and junior Marin McDermott (t-9th, 0.29).
*Penn has shut out five of its last six opponents; the only hiccup in that stretch came on Oct. 30 against Brown, when the Bears scored twice against the Quakers.
*The Quakers have nine clean sheets in 2010, the most since the program's 2001 Ivy League championship team also had nine shutouts.
*Ten different players have accounted for Penn's 25 goals.
*Penn has had the last two Ivy League Players of the Week in McDermott (Nov. 1) and junior goalkeeper Caroline Williams (Nov. 8); Scalora has been the Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times this season.
*McDermott and Scalora are tied for the team lead in goals (5) and points (12).
*Friedman also has 12 points this season, with two goals and an Ivy League-leading eight assists.
*Friedman -- a three-time All-Ivy selection in her career, including first-team All-Ivy as a sophomore in 2008 -- has 30 career assists, the school record. She became the program's all-time assist leader with her dish on Theresa Yankovich's goal October 1 against Cornell, moving ahead of Katy Cross who had 25 from 2001-04.
*Friedman also holds Penn's single-season record for assists, with 15 in 2008.
*Lopez-Palm is tied for the team lead with five goals, including the overtime game-winner against Brown on October 30.
*Yankovich and freshman Laura Oliver are tied for second on the team in assists, with three apiece.
*Three different Penn players have had two-goal games this season -- McDermott vs. Brown and Wagner, Lopez-Palm vs. Harvard, and Scalora vs. Navy.
*Campbell and Schoen have been the Quakers' anchors on the backline for the past two years, and are two of the team's three captains this fall. (The other is fellow senior Kaiser.)
*Campbell -- an honorable mention All-Ivy player in 2009 -- has started 67 of Penn's 68 games during her career; the only non-start came on Senior Day in 2008, when she deferred to an senior. Schoen has 59 career starts including 33 in a row dating through the last two seasons.
*Campbell and Schoen are two of three players to start all 17 matches this season; the other is junior Colleen Barry. Friedman has 16 starts, while McDermott and Kaiser have 15 starts.
*Sophomore Erin Thayer has started five of the last six matches for Penn, the first starts of her collegiate career.
*Williams has played all but 25 minutes in goal this season. She enters the tournament tied for first among Ivy League players in overall shutouts (7.0 -- she shared two of Penn's blankings), second in overall goals-against average (0.87), third in overall saves (67), and fourth in overall save percentage (.817).
*Williams was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Sept. 10-12 at the Penn Invitational by the participating coaches, while Campbell and Schoen were all-tournament field players.