PHILADELPHIA - Coming off a pair of wins to start the season, the Penn women's soccer team looks to keep the momentum rolling this weekend with another Friday-Sunday set. The Quakers host Marist Friday at 5 p.m. in the first half of a soccer doubleheader at Rhodes Field (the men will kick off with Air Force afterward). On Sunday, the women make their first road trip, if you want to call it that -- the "trip" is to Drexel, Penn's neighbor to the North. The Quakers and Dragons will kick off at 1 p.m.
The Series with Marist: The Quakers and the Red Foxes are meeting for the first time in women's soccer.
About Marist: The Red Foxes (3-1) return 10 starters and 17 letterwinners from a team that went 13-6-2 and went to the NCAA Championship as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champion last year. Marist defeated Fordham 1-0 last Sunday; on Wednesday night, the Red Foxes fell at Connecticut, 3-1. Chelsea Botta -- the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week for Aug. 27 -- leads Marist with seven points (3g, 1a), while Samantha Panzner has a goal and two assists. Amanda Epstein, Jackie Frey, Marjana Maksuti and Rycke Guiney have also scored this season. Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Landsman had six saves at Fordham and was rewarded as the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The Series with Drexel: The Quakers have dominated the series with the Dragons, winning all eight meetings by a combined score of 29-2. The last meeting took place during the 2004 season.
About Drexel: The Dragons (4-1-1) return eight starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's team, which went 6-8-5 overall. Most recently, Drexel was in Hawaii to face the University of Hawaii (3-3 tie) and Hawaii-Hilo (4-0 win). The Dragons also boast wins over Liberty, Villanova and UMBC. Gabby Dixon has a team-high six points (2g, 2a), while Lauren Stollar and Civanni Moss have also scored twice. In all, eight different Drexel players have hit the net this season. At the other end, Eve Badana has started every match in goal; she boasts a 1.07 goals-against average and has made 15 saves.
*With last weekend's wins, Penn is 2-0 for the second straight year and the third time in the last four seasons.
*Penn is 16-2-1 overall since the start of last season, and 20-3-3 over its last 26 matches dating back to the 2010 season. In those 26 matches, Penn has allowed just 10 goals.
*Seven starters and 14 letterwinners overall return this year from last year's historic squad, which went 14-2-1 overall including a 5-1-1 mark in the Ivy League (good for second place behind Harvard). Penn is 9-2-3 in Ivy League play the last two years combined.
*Juniors Kerry Scalora and Laura Oliver lead Penn in scoring with three points apiece (1g, 1a). Oliver's goal opened the scoring in the season opener against James Madison -- it came on her first touch of the game, and tied the game just 27 seconds after JMU had taken a 1-0 lead -- while Scalora's goal was the winner against the Dukes.
*Junior Brianna Rano had Penn's first goal Sunday against Temple, while classmate Claire Walker netted the insurance goal late in the match. Rano's goal was the second of her career, while Walker's was her first as a collegian.
*Senior Sarah Banks played both games in goal for Penn, combining for six saves while allowing just the one goal. She was bolstered by a veteran defense in front of her that included Rano, seniors Erin Thayer and Alex Dayneka, and sophomore Haley Cooper.
*Penn's captains for 2012 are senior midfielder Erin Beck -- a second-year captain -- along with Dayneka and Walker.
*Penn returns three All-Ivy players from a year ago, two first-teamers in Beck and senior goalkeeper Banks. Junior forward Kathryn Barth was a second-team selection in 2011.
*In addition, Penn figures to be bolstered by the return of Scalora. The 2010 Ivy League and ECAC Rookie of the Year and second-team All-Ivy was injured in the Quakers' sixth game a year ago and missed the remainder of the season.
*Penn returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago in Barth (8g, 8a), sophomore Megan York (5g, 1a) and sophomore Callan Parra (4g, 2a). Yet another sophomore, Clara Midgley, scored four goals.
*Banks started 16 of Penn's 17 matches last year, allowing just five goals for a 0.42 goals-against average that was among the national leaders.
Last year's team put up some staggering numbers including...
*The best record in program history by percentage (14-2-1, .853).
*The 14 wins tied for most in program history (also 1997) and the two losses tied for fewest in program history (also 2001).
*An eight-match win streak, longest in program history (previous record six).
*The team allowed just seven goals all season, a program record (previous mark 13), and scored 39 goals which was tied for second-most in program history (also 2001).
*Penn posted 13 shutouts in 17 matches, setting a program record and leading the nation at the NCAA Division I level in shutout percentage (.765).
*Penn finished last year third nationally in goals-against average (0.41), sixth in win percentage (.853), and seventh in save percentage (.887).