PHILADELPHIA The Penn field hockey team heads south this weekend for its first away games in the 2008 campaign. The Red and Blue will take on William & Mary (0-4) on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Virginia Commonwealth (3-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The first match up for the weekend is against W&M, this will be the 10th all-time meeting for the two, the first time since 2004 when Penn lost, 2-0. The Tribe currently leads the series 5-4.
Penn will look to seniors Rachel Eng, Christina Ferrier, and Margaretha Ehret for offense. All three have posted goals for the Quakers. Ferrier has had two goals, one in each of the games opening weekend. Junior Kathryn Rose also netted a goal in the 4-2 loss against Rutgers.
In addition to offense, head coach Val Cloud, looks to the defense as vital to a successful weekend.
“The defense needs to tighten up and clear balls effectively,” she said. “During the last game [the defense] began to play together and I believe they will continue this through the next two games.”
This game will have extra meaning for Eng, her sister Erica Eng, is a sophomore midfielder/back for William & Mary. The sisters will be sure to meet sticks as Erica has seen action in all of the Tribe’s games.
Sunday’s game against Virginia Commonwealth will be the second time the two teams have met in program history. The other time was in 2004, Penn lost at VCU, 3-1.
A strong defense will be crucial in the game as the Rams’ last game was a commanding, 5-2, win against Radford.
Five Rams have found the back of the net including Marle Van Dessel and Lindsay Jones have both netted three goals, respectively. Van Dessel has also assisted on three of the VCU goals.
Coach Cloud is very positive in the prospects of this weekend.
“Every game we are improving,” she said. “I am looking forward to this weekend; I believe the team will put all the pieces together for two wins.”