PHILADELPHIA The Penn field hockey team will play one of their biggest games this season, as they host Ivy rival Brown on Franklin Field this Sunday at noon. The Quakers are riding high on a five-game winning streak, including two big Ivy League wins over Columbia (10/13), and Yale (10/21). With their recent success, the Red and Blue have improved to 8-7 overall, and 3-2 in the Ivies.
The Series: Penn leads the all-time series with Brown, 19-7-3. This season’s match-up is one of the most important games of the year for Penn. Brown and Penn are currently tied for second in the Ivy League. This Sunday’s victor will walk away with a 4-2 Ivy record, and sole grasp of the number two spot in the standings.
Last Year: The Red and Blue dropped a 1-0 Ivy League decisionat Brown. In a defensive contest, the Bears' Kristen Vincent scored the game's lone goal 10 minutes into game and the Brown defense shut down the Quakers from there. Brown out shot Penn, 6-3 over the first half, but it was the Bears' first shot that would make the difference. Vincent picked up Samantha Lloyd's penalty corner and put it in the back of the cage for the game-winner. The Quakers came back with a very strong second half, out shooting Brown 6-2, and holding them without a shot for the first 30 minutes of the half. However, the Brown defense was able to deny Penn of the chance to equalize, and took home the win.
Penn's Last Time Out: The Quakers are riding a wave of wins in recent weeks. Most recently, they beat the Yale Bulldogs in New Haven, 3-2, Oct. 21. The game was a battle right from the start. Yale scored first, just 5:40 into the match,when Heather Orrico connected with Emily Palilonis on a penalty corner for the 1-0 lead. Twenty-four minutes later, however, junior forward Jamie Calahan was in the right place at the right time, as Meghan Rose’s shot rebounded to her stick, and she tied it up at 1-1 going into the half. Seven minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs scored again. Harriet Thayer passed across the goal to teammate Rachel Lentz, who scored when goalie Elizabeth Schlossberg stepped out of the net to play the pass, leaving the lower left corner open. But just one minute later, the Quakers took advantage of another rebounded shot, and junior Nicole Black scored to tie the game once more. Sophomore Margaretha Ehret was credited with the assist on the tying goal. Ten minutes later, senior forward Tracy Statter came through for the Quakers, scoring the game-winning goal off yet another rebounded shot. Again, it was junior Meghan Rose’s shot that found its way back to Statter’s stick, and she was credited with her sixth assist of the season. The game was a physical one, as four cards were given out, two for the Bulldogs, and two for the Quakers. But Penn dominated in nearly every category, out shooting Yale, 23-13, andholding a 10-4advantage in corners.
Who to Watch For: The Quakers’ offense has been on fire in their last five games, as the team went from scoring only 11 goals in their first ten games, to scoring 14 in their last five. Junior Nicole Black has emerged as the teams leading scorer, with seven goals, including two in Penn’s win over Columbia (10/13). Senior Tracy Statter has also stepped up in recent weeks. She has six goals and two assists so far this year. Statter has had major impact for the Quakers’ offense, as she’s scored three game-winning goals in the last two weeks, over Columbia (10/13), Drexel (10/15), and Yale (10/21). Junior Meghan Rose remains a constant force on the front line for Penn, as she’s tallied four goals and six assists so far this season.
At the Other End: Schlossberg, a first-team All-Ivy selection for the past two years, has played 980 minutes in the cage and boasts a 2.20 goals-against average. She has 65 saves on the season, including a season-high 18 saves in Penn’s 4-0 loss to #16 Ohio State on Sept. 3.
About Brown: The Bears have been a force to contend with this season, under head coach Carolan Norris. With a 3-1 win over Holy Cross Tuesday, Brown improved to 9-5 overall, and 3-2 in the Ivy League. The Bears have suffered two tough losses in their last two Ivy match-ups, one against a squad with a losing record. They lost to the undefeated Ivy champions, Princeton 6-1 (10/14), and last week, fell 1-0 to a 5-8 Cornell squad (3-3 in the Ivies). Since Princeton clinched the Ivy League title with their win over Harvard (10/24), Brown and Penn are now battling to sit in second place in the league. Currently, the two teams are tied at second, with 3-2 Ivy League records. This Sunday’s victor will take solid hold of second place in the standings.