Field Hockey Hits Home Stretch, Starting With Yale

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team has played four Ivy League games this season, with all of them going to overtime. After a dominating second-half performance Wednesday night in a 5-1 win over Drexel, the Quakers look for another effort like that on Saturday when they get back into Ivy play with Yale. Faceoff is slated for noon on Ellen Vagelos Field.

SATURDAY: Play 4 The Cure!
The Penn players will be rocking their pink socks on Saturday to recognize the team’s annual “Play 4 The Cure” game. Play 4 The Cure is the official sports fundraising platform of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR). Play4TheCure asks individual athletes and teams “Who do you Play 4?” Our answer: It’s not just about one color ribbon, we play for ALL CANCERS, ALL COLORS, ALL SPORTS. Click here for more info, or to donate.

Ivy League Digital Network
If you can’t make it to Ellen Vagelos Field this season, fear not! All home games, and most Ivy League road matches, can be watched LIVE on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN)! This subscription-based service has packages for the year, the season, and even single games. There are also special packages for each of the eight Ivy institutions. Click here for more information!

Around The Ivy League
Six of the eight teams are in action on Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m. when Brown (1-3) and Cornell (3-1) face off in Ithaca. Yale (0-4) and Penn (3-1) square off at noon, as do Princeton (4-0) and Harvard (2-2) in Cambridge. The fourth Ivy match takes place on Sunday, when Columbia (2-2) and Dartmouth (1-3) face off at noon in Hanover.

The Series with Yale
The Quakers lead the Bulldogs, 25-12-2, including wins each of the last three years. Each of the last four meetings have been decided by one goal. The last time these teams played here in Philadelphia, Penn gained a 1-0 win in penalty strokes. Last year, the Quakers got a 2-1 victory up in New Haven.

About Yale
The Bulldogs (2-10) have lost eight in a row, the most recent coming last weekend when they fell to Dartmouth, 3-2. Yale’s other Ivy losses have come to Harvard (in 2OT), Princeton and Cornell. Carol Middough leads the Bulldogs attack, with six goals; nobody else on the team has more than one tally. Nicole Wells leads Yale with three assists. Emilie Katz has played every minute in goal; she entered the weekend second nationally in saves per game (11.33) and sixth in save percentage (.800), and has a 2.70 goals-against average.

About Penn
*After a season-opening loss at Liberty, Penn has won 11 of its last 12 games. The Quakers had a program-record nine-game winning streak ended last Friday at Columbia, but have responded with wins at Bucknell (3-2 in OT) and Drexel (5-1 on Wednesday).

*Penn is 11-2 after 13 games, the second-best 13-game start in program history. The best 13-game start came in 1988, when the Quakers were 11-1-1. That Penn team eventually reached the NCAA semifinal round.

*Penn finished 4-0 against the city schools this year, defeating Drexel, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova. The Quakers will not play La Salle this season.

*Penn has reached double figures in the win column for the second time in three years, and the 12th time in program history dating back to 1973. The program record for wins in a season is 14, set in 1988, while the 2004 and 2013 teams reached 13 victories.

*Penn has played five overtime games this season. The program record for OT games in one season is seven, set in 1997; the Quakers went 3-4 in those contests. The 1990 team played six overtime games, going 2-2-2. The current team is tied for third in that category with the 1984 and 2000 squads, which also played five OT games (going 1-0-4 and 0-5, respectively).

*Penn is 4-1 in its OT games this season; under Colleen Fink, the Quakers are 11-5 when going to extra time.

*Penn started 3-0 in Ivy League play for the second time in three years; prior to 2013, the last time the Quakers were 3-0 after three Ivy matches was 1995.

*Penn -- which has scored at least twice in all but one game so far this season -- has four different players who have scored at least five times this season, and two others who have scored three goals each.

*Sophomore Alexa Hoover has continued to sizzle; after a hat trick Wednesday night at Drexel, she has five goals and an assist in Penn’s last two games. With three regular-season games still left to play, Hoover has already shattered the program’s single-season records for goals (26) and points (58). Both records were previously held by Liz Lorelli, who had 20 goals and 43 points in 2003.

*With 40 goals, Hoover -- a sophomore -- needs just four to tie the program’s record for goals in a career. That is held by Lisa Romig, who had 44 from 1978-81. Hoover’s 89 career points are nine shy of the record 98, also held by Romig.

*Hoover -- who has scored in all but two games this year -- enters the weekend leading the nation in goals per game and second in points per game by a mere 0.01. (Hoover is averaging 4.46 ppg; UConn’s Charlotte Veitner is averaging 4.47 ppg.)

*Hoover has nearly doubled her totals for ALL of last season, when she led the Ivy League in goals (14) and was third among Ivy players in points (31).

*Hoover has been named Ivy League Player of the Week four times this season, a Penn record for one season. The last player honored so many times in the same season in field hockey was Princeton’s Kathleen Sharkey in 2012.

*Last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Hoover set a program record for goals in a game when she notched five against Saint Joseph’s on September 11. The previous record of four was met three times in program history, most recently by Judy Jaczun against Dartmouth in 1989.

*Perhaps most impressive was that Hoover had her five goals while there was still more than 20 minutes left in regulation.

*With hat tricks against Liberty, Sacred Heart, Lafayette and Drexel this season, Hoover already has six games with three or more goals in her young career.

*Junior co-captain Elise Tilton has just three goals this season, but she ended things on consecutive Ivy League Saturdays with the winning goal in OT. Tilton also had an assist in the Quakers’ win against Dartmouth.

*Senior co-captain Elizabeth Hitti was held without a point for just the third time this season last Friday, but scored a goal Sunday at Bucknell and added two assist Wednesday at Drexel.

*Hitti has 24 points this season (5g, 14a), and enters the weekend leading the nation in assists per game (0.92).

*Freshman Selena Garzio, who scored twice in Wednesday’s win at Drexel, now has 13 points this season (5g, 3a) which is third on the team.

*Sophomore Rachel Huang had Penn’s goal last Friday at Columbia, her third of the season.

*Sophomore Gina Guccione got the Harvard game to overtime, scoring her fifth goal of the season with just 3:43 left in regulation off a Huang feed. She has scored in two of the Quakers’ four Ivy matches so far.

*Garzio and fellow freshman Karen Seid (1a) are the two newcomers who have started every game so far this season. Senior Alex Agathis and freshman Sofia Palacios also have assists this season.

*In goal, sophomore Liz Mata has played all but 20 minutes of game action this season; she has a 2.16 goals-against average and a .685 save percentage.