PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania (9-5, 3-2) field hockey team looks to improve to 4-0 against their City rivals when they travel to Villanova (4-12, 1-5) for a Tuesday night matchup. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at the newly opened Villanova Field Hockey Field in Conshohocken, Pa.
The Series with Villanova
Tuesday’s contest with Villanova marks the 33rd meeting between the two sides with Penn holding the upper hand in the all-time series 16-14-2. The Quakers have been dominate in the series of late and have won the past four meetings dating back to the 2012 season.
Villanova enters the contest with a 4-12 overall record and out of contention for the BIG EAST postseason tournament. The Wildcats have lost three of their last four matches and have wins over Ohio, Towson, LIU-Brooklyn and Temple to their credit. As of the latest NCAA RPI standings released last Tuesday, Villanova clocks in at No. 65.
Francesca Bello leads the team with 23 points (9g, 5a) while five players are in double-digits in the points category for the season. On the defensive end, Erika Miller has earned the majority of minutes between the posts and records a 3.51 goals against average and a .667 save percentage.
About the Quakers
*Penn looks to get back to their winning ways after two back-to-back overtime losses to Delaware and Yale. The Quakers have played six overtime games in 2016 and have had to use extra time 12 times over the last two seasons in 2015 and 2016. The Red and Blue are currently 3-3 in OT games this season.
*Penn leads the Ivy League in two statistical categories including shutouts (5) and penalty corners (8.50). Their 8.50 penalty corners per game ranks second in the NCAA while their five shutouts place them third in the nation.
*The Quakers are currently in third place in the Ivy League standings with a 3-2 record against their conference foes. Harvard leads the league at 5-0 while Princeton sits in second at 4-1. Penn could force a tie for first place if they win their remaining two conference games and have help from both the Crimson and Tigers in their remaining games.
*The Quakers clock in at No. 30 in the most recent Field Hockey Corner standings and third overall amongst Ivy schools; Princeton leads the way at No. 11 and Harvard follows at No. 19. Villanova clocks in at No. 69.
*Penn has outscored their opponents by a 34-26 margin for the season through 14 games. They’re also taking four more shots per game than their opposition and have a major advantage in penalty corners, taking 119 on the season to their oppositions 78.
*All six freshmen on the roster have seen action this season, with Alexa Schneck and Chelsea Duggan leading the way by appearing in all 14 games in 2016.
*Sophomore Paige Meily and senior Claire Kneizys have been mainstays on the Penn defense and have racked the most minutes on the team. Of a possible 1,076 minutes, Meily has only been absent for only 10 minutes the entire season.
*Junior Alexa Hoover is the current points leader through 14 games with 25 points via nine goals and seven assists. Earlier this season she became the Penn record holder in both goals and points, breaking a 35 year-old record that stood since 1981. She also leads the Ivy League in shots taken – 85- 23 more than any other player in the conference.
*The Quakers are seeing plenty of players contribute to the scoring effort on the season, with nine different athletes providing points thus far in 2016. Hoover leads the team with nine goals while Sofia Palacios and Elise Tilton follow closely behind the team with six goals each.
*On the defensive end, @Liz Mata has been the mainstay between the posts, playing just over 989 minutes in cage. The junior netminder has four shutouts to her credit this season and boasts a 1.84 goals against average and a 74% save percentage.
*The Red and Blue have played one of their toughest schedules in recent history and have seen three of the top-ranked teams in the nation. Penn hosted then-No. 1 North Carolina on their opening weekend and traveled to No. 1 Syracuse On Sept. 25. They also played at No.8 Delaware on Oct. 16.