PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team looks to continue its hot play in the Ivy League this weekend, hosting Columbia on Friday night at 7 p.m. Following that, the Quakers are at Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday for their last non-conference regular season game of 2012.
The Series with Columbia: The Quakers and Lions have had a spirited series that Penn leads 10-8-2 after a 2-0 win last year in New York City. Columbia won the two meetings before that, however, including a 2-1 decision two years ago at Rhodes Field. Penn has not lost an Ivy League home match since then.
About Columbia: The Lions (5-5-0, 2-0-0 Ivy) dropped to .500 overall with a 2-1, overtime loss to Lehigh on Monday; with wins over Cornell and Brown, they join Penn atop the Ivy League standings along with Princeton. Beverly Leon and Coleen Rizzo have supplied most of the offense, with four goals apiece out of Columbia's 12 goals overall. Isabel King joins Leon as the team's assist leader with three. In goal, Grace Redmon has a 1.07 goals-against average and an .831 save percentage.
Around the Ivy League: The rest of the league will play on Saturday, starting with Cornell (0-2-0) at Harvard (1-1-0) at noon. Brown (0-2-0) and Princeton (2-0-0) kick off in New Jersey at 4 p.m., while Yale (0-2-0) is at Dartmouth (1-1-0) at 4:30 p.m.
The Series with Saint Francis (Pa.): The Quakers and the Red Flash met for the first time in program history last year in Philadelphia, with Penn gaining a 3-0 win behind two goals from current sophomore Megan York.
About SFPA: The Red Flash (7-4-1) improved to 4-0-0 in Northeast Conference play last Sunday by defeating Sacred Heart in overtime, 1-0. (They host Central Connecticut State on Friday night in Loretto.) Tesa McKibben has been superb up front for Saint Francis; she has eight goals and eight assists for 24 points, while Eloa Nascimento has three goals and three assists. Ellie Gavin has scored twice. In goal, Brianna Butcher has an .859 save percentage and a 0.88 goals-against average.
*With its win at Cornell last weekend, Penn has gone 7-0-1 over its last eight Ivy League matches, the best conference run in program history. In addition, the Quakers are 6-0-0 in their last six Ivy League home matches dating back to 2010.
*Penn is 20-6-1 overall since the start of last season, and 24-7-3 over its last 34 matches dating back to the 2010 season. In those 34 matches, Penn has allowed just 19 goals.
*Junior Kerry Scalora had a goal and an assist in last Friday's win at Cornell, then added an assist Sunday against NJIT. She now leads Penn with seven points (2g, 3a).
*Freshman Erin Mikolai scored twice on Sunday, giving her three goals this season which leads the Quakers. On Monday, she was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time in three weeks.
*Amazingly, it wasn't until last weekend that a Penn player scored her second goal of the season. (The Quakers had eight different players score their first eight goals.) In addition to Scalora and Mikolai, the multi-goal scorers in 2012 also include juniors Kathryn Barth and Claire Walker and sophomore Kaitlyn Moore.
*Moore certainly had Penn's most dramatic goal this season -- her tally against Harvard on Sept. 21 came with just 3.9 seconds left in regulation.
*Junior Brianna Rano has assisted both of Moore's goals this season; she is tied with Scalora for the team lead in assists with three.
*Senior Sarah Banks has started all nine games in goal for Penn, combining for 30 saves while allowing nine goals. She has been bolstered by a veteran defense in front of her that includes Rano and seniors Erin Thayer and Alex Dayneka along with freshmen Jazmyne Simmons and Caroline Dwyer.
*Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Myhre saw her first game action of 2012, replacing Banks after the senior was injured on the play where Boise State scored in the Broncos' 1-0 win on Sept. 23 at Rhodes Field. In 36 minutes of action, she was not called upon to make a save.
*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 12-2-3 in its last 17 Ivy League matches going back to 2009.
*Penn's overtime win at Sacramento State on Sept. 16 was its first in extra time since Oct. 30, 2010 -- coincidentally, also a 3-2 decision, this time over Brown. All-time, Penn is 9-9-35 in overtime matches.
*Mikolai scored the winner over the Hornets, her first collegiate goal. As a result, she was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the first Ivy honor this year for a Penn women's soccer player.
*Freshman Elissa Berdini scored Penn's first goal against Sac State and assisted Mikolai's winner; they were her first collegiate points.
*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).