Women's Soccer at Brown on Saturday
PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's soccer team begins its final kick in the Ivy League this weekend, traveling to Providence to face Brown on Saturday at 4 p.m. With two matches left in the League, the Quakers are alone in second place at 4-1-0, one point behind 4-0-1 Harvard. However faint, Brown (3-2-0 in Ivy play) can still consider itself in the Ivy League hunt, and thus the Bears figure to post a formidable obstacle on Senior Day at Stevenson Field.
Around The League: All eight teams are in action on Saturday, with mostly staggered starts. Penn starts at 4 p.m. with Brown, and those teams will know Harvard's result before they kick off as the Crimson (4-0-1) host Dartmouth (1-4-0) at 1 p.m. in Cambridge. Later that evening, Yale (3-2-0) and Columbia (3-2-0) will look to push past each other in the standings at 7 p.m. in New York, while Princeton (1-4-0) hosts Cornell (0-4-1) at the same time.
The Scenario: Harvard can win the Ivy League crown outright with a win over Dartmouth and a Penn loss at Brown. The Crimson will gain at least a share of the crown with a win and a Penn tie, and would also clinch the league's NCAA bid because they beat the Quakers on Sept. 23. Penn stays alive in the Ivy League championship and NCAA hunts with any other combination of wins, losses or ties between the two teams this weekend.
Looking Ahead: We hate to do this, because you're supposed to take them one at a time. But we figure people want to know. The final Saturday of League play is November 5. On that day, Penn will host Princeton at 5 p.m.; two hours later, Harvard will kick off with Columbia in New York City.
Penn vs. Brown: The Quakers and Bears are tied, 9-9-2, although Penn has had the run of late with two straight wins and a 7-2-1 advantage over the last 10 meetings. Three of the last four matches have gone to overtime, with Penn winning 3-2 last year in Philadelphia and Brown winning 1-0 in both 2007 and 2008. In last year's win at Rhodes Field, Marin McDermott scored both Penn goals in regulation, then assisted Ursula Lopez-Palm's overtime winner.
About Brown: The Bears (10-4-1, 3-2-0) defeated Cornell 2-1 last weekend; their Ivy losses have come to Harvard (2-1) and Columbia (2-1). Eliza Marshall leads Brown in scoring with 13 points (5g, 3a) while Kiersten Berg is right behind her (4g, 3a). Chloe Cross also has four goals and Marybeth Lesbirel has a team-high four assists. At the other end, sophomore MC Barrett was named the Ivy League Player of the Week in goal. She has a 0.78 goals-against average. As a team, Brown has a 0.84 GAA.
*Penn entered the week ranked second nationally in shutout percentage (.786), behind only La Salle (.816). The Quakers also were eighth in goals-against average (0.43), 10th in win percentage (.857), and 24th in scoring offense (2.36 goals per game). All of those numbers improved with Wednesday's 3-0 win at Lehigh.
*Depending on how you look at it, you can argue that Penn's 13-2-0 start is the best in program history. The 2001 team was 11-1-3 through 14 matches, so they had fewer losses. However, if you count wins as three points and ties as one, as the Ivy League does, the 39 points racked up by this year's team trumps the 36 accumulated by the 2001 squad at this point. (The 2007 team was 11-3-1 after 15 matches, on the way to an Ivy League title.)
*At 13-2-0, Penn has reached double figures in the win column for the third time in five seasons and the eighth time in program history (since 1991).
*Penn has won 13 or more games just four other times in program history: 1997 (14 wins), 1999 (13), 2001 (13), and 2007 (13).
*Penn has won eight matches in a row, a program record. The previous record of six was set in both 2001 and 2007.
*With two regular-season games still left to play, Penn has scored 36 goals which is third in program history behind the 1998 team (42 goals) and the 2001 squad (39).
*Penn has shut out six straight opponents. That has happened only one other time in program history -- the 1998 team began the season with seven straight clean sheets. The last goal allowed by the Quakers came on Sept. 30 in a 2-1 win over Cornell.
*Penn has 12 shutouts this season, a school record; the previous record of 11 was set in 1997. The 1998 and 1999 teams are the only other ones to reach double figures in clean sheets (10 each).
*Penn has allowed just six goals so far this season. The school record for fewest goals allowed is 13, set in 18 matches by the 2001 squad.
*Penn has won 12 games in a row at Rhodes Field dating back to last season, the Quakers' longest home winning streak since they won 12 in a row bridging the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
*In addition, Penn has allowed just one goal in nine home matches this season (Sept. 30 against Cornell).
*Ten different players have scored Penn's 36 goals this season (six have at least three goals), and 14 different players have a point.
*Sophomore Kathryn Barth had a goal and an assist Wednesday at Lehigh. She has a six-match point-scoring streak, with six goals and six assists in that stretch, and she figured in six straight goals over a three-game stretch before the Quakers' final goal Wednesday night.
*After scoring three goals and assisting three others in two matches the week of Oct. 10, Barth received a host of awards including Ivy League and ECAC Player of the Week as well as a spot on Soccer America's National Team of the Week.
*Barth leads Penn in assists (7) and points (23); her assist total is tied for sixth on the program's single-season list, and her point total is tied for eighth.
*Senior Marin McDermott is tied with Barth for the team lead in goals (8) and second on the team with 18 points.
*McDermott -- who was the Ivy League Player of the Week on Sept. 5 -- has 22 career goals, which puts her alone in sixth place all-time at Penn.
*McDermott also has 53 career points, which is sixth on Penn's all-time list in that category.
*York had two goals and an assist against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 2 and was honored as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for Oct. 3. She is fourth on the team with nine points (5g, 1a).
*Senior Theresa Yankovich has four points in Penn's last two games and is fifth on the team with nine points (3g, 3a).
*Penn was the second-to-last team in NCAA Division I women's soccer to give up a goal this season. The last team to do so was another Philadelphia squad -- La Salle shut out its first 11 opponents this season before finally giving up a goal.
*Penn's defense has recently been anchored by a back four of seniors Adrienne Lerner and Colleen Barry, junior Erin Thayer, and sophomore Brianna Rano. Junior Alex Dayneka has also been a catalyst despite some injuries, as have sophomore Claire Walker and freshman Kaitlyn Moore.
*In goal, junior Sarah Banks has started all 15 matches this season. She has gone the distance in six of the last nine outings, and has a 0.47 GAA (10th nationally) and an .857 save percentage (31st nationally).
*Senior Caroline Williams played the second half at Lehigh on Wednesday and had four saves. She has made 11 stops this season and allowed just one goal.
*Penn has won two of the last four Ivy League titles; last year, the Quakers went 4-1-2 in Ivy play and narrowly edged Princeton for the championship.