Field Hockey Begins Ivy Action at Cornell, Faces No. 1 Syracuse Sunday

Cornell: Live Stats | ILDN | Twitter
Syracuse: Live Stats | WatchESPN | Twitter

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team begins Ivy League action this Saturday at Cornell and returns a day later to take on No. 1 Syracuse for an exciting weekend in New York for a pair of contests.

The Quakers and Big Red will meet at Noon in Ithaca, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 24th while Penn and Syracuse are set for a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday, Sept. 25th. Sunday’s game at Syracuse will be broadcast live on the WatchESPN app while fans can catch the Penn-Cornell match on the Ivy League Digital Network.

The Series with Cornell
Saturday’s contest marks the 41st meeting between the two sides with Penn holding the advantage in the all-time series at 24-14-2. The Quakers have won three of the past five meetings against the Big Red and claimed the most recent outing in a 3-2 overtime win at home on Sept. 25th, 2015. Alexa Hoover scored twice and Gina Guccione netted the overtime game-winner on a penalty stroke for the Red and Blue victory.

About Cornell
Cornell enters Saturday’s matchup with a 4-2 overall record with wins over Colgate, Lehigh, Ohio University and Lock Haven. Losses have come at the hands of Rutgers and Stanford, but the Big Red has outscored their opponents by a 17-6 margin through six games. Katie Carlson leads the team with five goals and one assist while 11 players have posted points on the season. Defensively, Kelly Johnson has been the primary goaltender and boasts a 1.37 goals against average and a .778 save percentage in just over 390 minutes of action.

The Series with Syracuse
Sunday’s contest marks the fourth overall meeting between Penn and Syracuse with the all-time series favoring the Orange, 3-0. Penn and Syracuse last met during the 2006 season at the Blue Hen Classic where the Orange came away with a 1-0 win. Penn and Syracuse also met during the 1993 and 2002 seasons.

About Syracuse
Syracuse enters the contest as the No. 1 ranked team in the country with an undefeated 7-0 record to start the season. They’ve outscored their opposition by a 30-8 margin and have played six opponents ranked in the top-20 of the national polls. Lies Lagerweij leads the team with eight goals and one assist while Regan Spencer has been the starting goalkeeper averaging a 1.16 goals against average and a 74% save percentage in 420 minutes of action.

Get to Know the Quakers
*Sunday’s contest marks the second time this season the Quakers have played the No. 1 ranked team in the country. The Red and Blue hosted then-No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 4th in their opening weekend.

*Penn leads the Ivy League in several significant offensive categories including scoring average (4.01), goals scored per game (3.40) and penalty corners (12.2). Their 12.2 penalty corners per game is also tops in the NCAA.

*In the first RPI release of the season, the Quakers clock in at No. 21 and second overall amongst Ivy schools; Princeton leads the way at No. 9.

*Junior Alexa Hoover is the current points leader for the Quakers with three goals and three assists on the season. Earlier this year, the forward became the all-time program leader in points (103), breaking a 35 year-old record that stood since 1981. Additionally, she tied for first on the all-time goals list (44) also matching a 35 year-old record by Lisa Romig.

*The Quakers are seeing plenty of players contribute to the scoring effort on the season, with eight different athletes providing points thus far on the year. Sophomore Sofia Palacios leads the team with four goals on the season while Hoover, Rachel Huang and Elise Tilton all have three scores each.  

*On the defensive end, all four goalkeepers on the roster have seen game action in 2016. Haley Gelberg, Reina KernAva Rosati and Liz Mata have combined for a 2.02 goals against average and a .607 save percentage. Mata has seen the most minutes and has been the starting netminder through five games and has played just over 300 minutes on the season.

*The Red and Blue have totaled a 4-1 record through their first five games for the third time in five seasons. The Quakers also began the 2013 and 2015 campaigns with the same start.