PHILADELPHIA The Penn field hockey team hopes that its third game in five days will result in its first victory on Wednesday when it travels to Saint Joseph’s. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Hawks’ Finnesey Field.
Both teams enter the game with 0-2 records. Penn was defeated by Temple and Kent State over the weekend as part of the Temple Field Hockey Invitational, while Saint Joseph’s lost to Hofstra (in double-overtime) and Fairfield.
Penn is 9-4 all-time versus Saint Joseph’s and looks to avenge last year’s 2-0 loss.
Head Coach Val Cloud expects to see Saint Joseph’s start the game strong. “Saint Joseph’s is usually aggressive and speedy. We have to be ready to play our game,” she said.
Cloud has increased the tempo of practice this week, feeling that her team needs more excitement come game-time. “We have been working on execution of skills as well as picking up the intensity on the field,” Cloud said.
If Saint Joseph’s lives up to its reputation and comes out quick, Penn had better hope it responds like it did against Kent State as opposed to how the Quakers opened against Temple. In the opener, Temple took the play to Penn, scoring the game’s first four goals, including two in the first 18 minutes. On Sunday, Penn was the aggressor, controlling the early stages of play and netting the game’s first goal. A strong start offensively will be key against the Hawks.
Margaretha Ehret has gotten off to a good start for the Quakers, with a goal and an assist on the season. Jamie Calahan and Rachel Eng have also scored for Penn. Kathryn Rose is also on the board, recording an assist in the Temple game.
Coming into the season, one of the major questions surrounding the Quakers was the situation in goal. Alanna Butera got the start in goal for both games over the weekend and should do the same against Saint Joseph’s. While the results have not been perfect, Butera has provided Penn with solid goaltending, including a career-high 11 saves on Sunday against the Golden Flashes.
Saint Joseph’s enters its home opener also looking for its first win. The Hawks suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 double-overtime loss to Hofstra and an equally tough loss to Fairfield, 1-0. Marisa Pizzi is the top returning scorer for the Hawks with 18 points in 2006. Rebecca Cunfer sees most of the action in goal, with 55 starts over her four-year career.