Field Hockey Readies for Columbia, No. 8 Delaware Friday and Sunday

Columbia: ESPN3 via the ILDN | Live Stats | Twitter
Delaware: Live Video | Live Stats | Twitter

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team (8-3, 2-1) is back in action this Friday and Sunday when they host Columbia (6-5, 1-2) and travel to No. 8 Delaware (12-2, 3-0) for a pair of heated rivalries. Game time vs. the Lions is slated for 4 p.m. at Ellen Vagelos Field on Friday while the Blue Hens and Quakers will square off at 1 p.m. Sunday in Newark, Del.   

Friday’s contest against Columbia will be broadcast live via the Ivy League Digital Network on ESPN3. Follow the links above for more information.

The Series with Columbia
Friday’s matchup marks the 21st meeting between the Ancient Eight foes with the all-time series tied at 10-10. Columbia has been a bit of an Achilles heel for the Quakers as of late: the previous four meetings have all gone to overtime and the Lions have come out as the victors in each match. The Red and Blue will be looking for their first win since the 2010 season over their opponents.

About Columbia
The Lions are 6-5 on the season and own a 1-2 mark in conference play following a win against Cornell and losses to Brown and Princeton. Katie Ruesterholz leads the team with 26 points via 10 goals and six assists while 11 players have posted points for Columbia this season.

The Series with Delaware
Sunday’s contest marks the 26th meeting between Penn and Delaware with the Blue Hens leading the all-time series at 16-9. The 2016 matchup marks the first meeting between the two sides since the 2010 season and the Quakers are looking for their first win over Delaware since a 3-2 victory in 2007.

About Delaware
The Blue Hens are off to a solid start to 2016 and are currently ranked 8th in the latest NFHCA Coaches Poll released on Oct. 11th. They own a 12-2 overall record and unblemished 3-0 mark in CAA games this season, with their only losses coming at the hands of Old Dominion and Princeton. Greta Nauck leads the team with 17 goals and seven assists for 41 points.

Get to Know the Quakers
*Penn leads the Ivy League in two statistical categories including shots per game (18.91) and penalty corners (9.27). Their 9.27 penalty corners per game ranks first in the NCAA. On the defensive end, the Quakers are also leading the Ivy League with five shutouts to their credit.

*The Quakers are currently tied for 3rd place in the Ivy League standings with a 2-1 record against their conference foes. Harvard and Princeton are undefeated at 3-0 while Brown and the Quakers share a 2-1 mark against their league opponents.

*The Quakers clock in at No. 20 in the most recent NCAA RPI standings and third overall amongst Ivy schools; Princeton leads the way at No. 9 and Harvard follows at No. 13.

*Penn has outscored their opponents by a 26-19 margin for the season through 11 games. They’re also taking 6.5 more shots per game than their opposition and have a major advantage in penalty corners, taking 102 on the season to their oppositions 57.

*All six freshmen on the roster have seen action this season, with Alexa Schneck and Chelsea Duggan leading the way by appearing in all 11 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 837 minutes, Meily has only been absent for only 10 minutes the entire season.

*Junior Alexa Hoover is the current points leader through 11 games with 19 points via seven goals and five 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.

*The Quakers are seeing plenty of players contribute to the scoring effort on the season, with eight different athletes providing points thus far in 2016. Hoover leads the team with seven goals while Sofia Palacios, Rachel Huang, Gina Guccione and Elise Tilton follow closely behind the team with four goals each.

*On the defensive end, Liz Mata has been the mainstay between the posts, playing just over 760 minutes in cage. The junior netminder has four shutouts to her credit this season and boasts a 1.74 goals against average and a 73% save percentage.

*The Red and Blue have played one of their toughest schedules in recent history and have seen two 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’ll travel to No. 8 Delaware on Oct. 16.