PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team has a rare out-of-conference week this week. The Quakers start things up with a Wednesday trip to Easton to face a Lafayette squad ranked 13th in this week's NFHCA national coaches poll. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m.
The Series with Lafayette: The Quakers lead what has been a tight series between these regional rivals, 17-15-6. These teams have met every year since 1974. Lafayette has won the last four matchups, including a 4-1 decision last year in Philadelphia and a 3-0 decision two years ago in Easton. Prior to that, Penn had won four in a row.
About Lafayette: The Leopards (8-1) have won six in a row, and started Patriot League play in a big way with a 4-1 win over preseason favorite American on Saturday. Deanna Dicroce leads Lafayette with 18 points (5g, 8a), while Emily Valeo has three goals and a team-high nine assists. Brittany Blass and Jenna Seybert have four goals each for the Leopards, who have outscored their opponents 27-11 so far this season. Jessica Deutsch has been in goal; she has a 1.26 goals-against average and a .744 save percentage.
*At 5-4, Penn is off to its best start since the 2004 season (also 5-4 after nine games). That Quaker team ended the regular season on an eight-game win streak to finish at 13-4 overall. They also went 6-1 in Ivy League play to tie for the title.
*Penn has already surpassed its win totals from 2011 (4) and 2010 (3) and matched its win total from 2009. Another win will tie the program's win total from 2008.
*Penn has already matched its goal total from last year, with 24. The 2009 team was the last team to score more than 24 goals, with 26; the 2008 team had 28.
*Senior Sarah Hasson was named co-Ivy League Player of the Week after recording two goals and an assist in Penn's Sept. 22 Ivy win over Harvard; it was her first multi-goal game since she had two of them as a freshman.
*Freshman Elizabeth Hitti scored a goal and added an assist in the win over the Crimson, and earned her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor for her efforts.
*Hitti and Amelia Cohen had two goals apiece last Wednesday night in the Quakers' 4-3 win at La Salle.
*Cohen is Penn's top goalscorer, with six, while Hitti and junior Julie Tahan have five apiece. Hasson has now scored four goals this season, while junior Sunny Stirewalt has three.
*Hasson and Hitti both have four assists this season; they lead the team in that category. MaryRose Croddick and Helene Caniglia have two apiece, while Emily Corcoran and Tahan have one.
*Sophomore Carly Sokach has played every minute in goal so far for Penn, combining for 28 saves against eight goals allowed in the last three games (eight saves with two goals allowed last Saturday at Dartmouth). She also saved a penalty stroke against Harvard. Sokach has a 2.97 goals-against average and a .703 save percentage for the season.
*Mandy Epstein and Tahan are this year's captains.