PHILADELPHIA - For Penn's five seniors, Wednesday night's clash with Princeton (7 p.m.) is the final regular season game on Franklin Field, but a win in the game allows the quintet to ensure at least one more game on home turf in the Ivy League Tournament.
The No. 8 Quakers enter the game with an overall record of 9-3 and an unblemished 5-0 mark inside the Ivy League. The Red and Blue are the lone remaining unbeaten team inside the Ancient Eight and have a chance to solidify at least a share of the Ivy League's regular season championship with a win on Wednesday under the lights.
Overall, the all-time series between the two schools is extremely tight. The Tigers own a slim 18-17-3 edge in the series, but the Quakers are on a five-game winning streak against their archrivals.
The five seniors - Giulia Giordano, Keely Langdon, Carolyn Pollard, Lily Posner and Bridget Waclawik - have a career record of 29-3 at Franklin Field and are 13-0 in Ivy League games on Penn's campus as part of the current 34-game Ivy winning streak Penn is riding.
Four of those wins have come against the Tigers, including a 12-5 win in New Jersey last season. The Quakers outscored the Tigers by a 6-1 margin in the second half to pull away for the win, with Erin Brennan and Megan Smith each recording hat tricks.
In three career games against Princeton, Brennan has been an absolute force. She has 10 goals and three assists in games matched up against the Orange and Black, including a four-goal performance in the Ivy League Tournament semifinals last season.
Her ability to score against the Tigers has carried over to the rest of the country this season as Brennan leads the Quakers with 26 goals and 10 assists for 36 points. Earlier this week, she was named a nominee for the Tewaaraton Award, one of 24 nominees cut down from a starting list of over 100 players. The only Ivy League player selected to the list, Brennan is third in the Ancient Eight in points and sixth in goals.
Caroline Bunting has continued her breakout season for the Quakers, with two goals last weekend in a 10-9 win over Dartmouth to give her 14 goals this season. Overall, she is second on the squad in points with 21, one point ahead of Giordano. Bunting is 4-for-4 on free position shots and is one of three Quakers with two game-winning goals this season (Giordano and Waclawik).
Bunting's all-around play - 16 caused turnovers, 13 draw controls and 12 ground balls - has set the tone for Penn's tenacious defense all season, partnering with a defense corps of Pollard, Posner, Lydia Miller and Lindsey Smith to 7.92 goals-per-game which is the sixth-best team defense in the country.
The No. 15 Tigers are 6-5 overall and 3-1 inside the Ivy League with a 9-8 loss to Harvard dropping Princeton to fourth place in the League entering Wednesday's game. Jaci Gessaway leads the Tigers in points with 28 (18 goals, 10 assists) but Lizzy Drumm is still the go-to scorer for Princeton. She has 25 goals this season and 25 draw controls. Lindsey deButts often draws the top assignment on defense for the Tigers and succeeds at it with 17 caused turnovers and 28 ground balls. Erin Tochihara has played every minute in goals and has a GAA of 9.91 while making 98 saves (.471 save percentage) and allowing 110 goals.