PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team has gone to overtime each of its last two games, winning both of them. The Quakers hope to keep their winning ways going this Sunday, when they meet UMass-Lowell in a non-conference, neutral-site game at Yale University. Faceoff is scheduled for noon.
The Series with UMass-Lowell
The Quakers and the Riverhawks are meeting for the first time in field hockey.
The Riverhawks (1-11) are a new NCAA Division I program this year. When they play Penn on Sunday, it will mark their fourth straight game against an Ivy League opponent; they lost to Columbia (2-1) and Harvard (4-0), and will play Dartmouth on Friday night. Melissa Effertz leads UML with four goals, while Georgia Cowderoy has seven points (3g, 1a) and Jahna Driscoll has scored twice. In goal, Melanie Hopkins has played every minute and holds a 3.75 goals-against average and a .667 save percentage.
*At 8-2, Penn is off to its best start since the 1995 team was also 8-2. If the Quakers beat UMass-Lowell, their 9-2 record after 11 games would be surpassed only by the 1988 Final Four team, which was 9-1-1 after 11 games en route to a 14-3-1 overall record.
*Penn is also 3-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since the 1995 team started league play 4-0.
*Last year the Quakers tied a program record for goals in a season, with 42. They are well on their way toward giving that mark a run this year, with 35 goals in their first 10 games.
*Penn defeated Rider 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday; to give you a sense of how big that was, consider that over the last three years the Broncs had not only beaten the Quakers three times, but they had also outscored them by a combined 18-4.
*Freshman forward Elise Tilton was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Tuesday, becoming the third Penn player to earn Ivy weekly honors in the last three weeks (Jasmine Cole two weeks ago, Carly Sokach last week).
*Tilton earned her honor by scoring twice in the final 10 minutes of Penn’s 5-4 overtime win against Dartmouth; the goals erased a 4-2 deficit and got the Quakers to OT. They were her sixth and seventh goals of the season.
*In Wednesday’s win over Rider, Jasmine Cole and Emily Corcoran both had two goals and an assist, while Tilton and Julie Tahan also had assists on the day.
*Penn has gone to overtime in two straight games, winning both. Corcoran has scored the winner in both of those contests.
*Cole leads Penn with 12 goals, while Corcoran -- who was on the Ivy honor roll Tuesday after her OT winner against the Big Green -- has 10 goals and five assists and is tied with Cole for the team lead with 25 points.
*Senior Sunny Stirewalt scored her first goal of 2013 last Sunday against Dartmouth, off a Corcoran feed; she also has two assists this season.
*Sokach earned her Ivy League Player of the Week honor after a 12-save shutout at Harvard on September 28.
*Sokach also had 12 saves in Wednesday’s win at Rider, her fifth double-digit-save game this season. She also had 11 in a 2-1 loss at Bucknell; 12 in a 4-3 win against Cornell; and 11 in a loss to Lafayette.
*Sokach has a .760 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against average for the season. In the last eight games, however, the save percentage is up slightly (.783) while the GAA is down a bit (2.20).
*Cole already has two hat tricks in her collegiate career; it took her four games to do it. The first one came at Saint Joseph’s, and the second one came in her Ivy League debut against Cornell.
*With her assist in Wednesday’s game at Rider, Tahan now has nine points (2g, 5a) and is tied with Corcoran for the team lead in assists.
*Sophomore Elizabeth Hitti scored the goal in Penn’s 1-0 win at Harvard -- a nice homecoming for the Massachusetts resident -- and now has eight points on the season (3g, 2a).
*It has been nice to see junior Alex Iqbal get back onto the score sheet in recent games; she assisted Tilton’s game-tying goal against Dartmouth, and also had an assist against Pacific. Iqbal was an All-Ivy performer as a freshman, but missed all of last year due to an injury.
*Tahan and Croddick were second-team All-Ivy players a year ago; both are back this season. Hitti, meanwhile, received honorable mention despite being a freshman.
*Tahan and Iqbal are this year’s captains. In addition to Tahan, the other seniors are Stirewalt, Amelia Cohen and Katie Harrington.
Penn gets back into Ivy League play with a trip to Columbia on Friday night. The Quakers and the Lions will face off at 6 p.m. in New York City.