PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team got a bit of a wake-up call on Wednesday, losing for the first time on the new Ellen Vagelos Field to Lafayette. The Quakers hope to rebound in a big way this Sunday, hosting Dartmouth in a key Ivy League game at 11 a.m.
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The Series with Dartmouth
The Quakers and the Big Green have met 37 times in field hockey, with Penn holding a 19-15-3 lead in the series. That said, Dartmouth has won the last five meetings, including a 2-0 decision last year in Hanover and a 4-2 victory the last time these two played in Philadelphia, two years ago. Penn’s last win in the series came here in Philadelphia, 5-1, in 2007.
The Big Green (3-4, 1-1 Ivy) is getting two games from its trip to Philadelphia, opening the weekend at Drexel Friday night. Dartmouth enters the weekend on a two-game winning streak after beating Brown and Holy Cross last weekend. The Big Green’s Ivy loss came to defending champion Princeton. Junior Ali Savage, a unanimous first-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, leads the Big Green in goals (7), assists (5) and points (19). Maggie Scanlon has four goals, while Janine Leger and Eliza Becker have two goals each. Olivia Quaglia (2g, 2a) joined Savage as a first-team All-Ivy pick last year. In goal, Ellen Meyer has played every minute and has a 3.86 goals-against average and a .597 save percentage.
*At 6-2, Penn is off to its best start since the 1995 team was also 6-2 after eight games. That 1995 squad would improve to 8-2 after 10 games en route to a 10-7 overall record.
*Penn is also 2-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since 2001; with a win on Sunday, the Quakers would be 3-0 in conference 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 26 goals in their first eight games.
*The story this week has been junior goalkeeper Carly Sokach, who was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Tuesday after her 12-save shutout at Harvard last Saturday.
*Sokach also had 11 saves in Wednesday’s loss to Lafayette, giving her four double-digit save games this season. She also had 11 in a 2-1 loss at Bucknell, and 12 in a 4-3 win against Cornell.
*Sokach has a .785 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average for the season. In the last six games, however, the save percentage is up (.823) while the GAA is down (1.83).
*Freshman Jasmine 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.
*Cole -- who leads Penn and the Ivy League with nine goals this season -- was named the co-Ivy League Player of the Week and the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Sept. 24, primarily on the strength of her performance against the Big Red.
*Junior Emily Corcoran has also been on fire, with two goals against Pacific and La Salle last week. (She put eight shots on goal against the Explorers last Wednesday.) Corcoran has seven goals and three assists for 17 points, one behind Cole.
*Another freshman, Elise Tilton, scored twice in a 23-second span last Sunday vs. Pacific; she is third on the team with five goals.
*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). Senior Julie Tahan is right behind her with seven points (2g, 3a).
*It was good to see junior Alex Iqbal get on the score sheet against Pacific; she assisted on a goal for her first point of 2013. Iqbal was an All-Ivy performer as a freshman, but missed all of last year due to an injury.
*Junior defender MaryRose Croddick also gained her first point of 2013, with an assist against Cornell, while senior Sunny Stirewalt had her second point of the season, an assist, against Pacific.
*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. The team also welcomes back Iqbal, who was an All-Ivy honoree in 2011 as a freshman but missed all of last year due to injury.
*Tahan and Iqbal are this year’s captains. In addition to Tahan, the other seniors are Stirewalt, Amelia Cohen and Katie Harrington.
Penn is on the road for its next three games, starting Wednesday when the Quakers travel to Rider to face the Broncs at 5 p.m.