Field Hockey Hosts Cornell in Ivy Home Opener

PHILADELPHIA – Penn (1-4, 0-1 Ivy League) looks for its first Ivy League win of the season on Saturday when the Quakers square off with Cornell (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) at noon on Franklin Field. Penn and Cornell are meeting for the 32nd time, with the Quakers holding a 20-9-2 edge. However, the Big Red has a two game winning streak in the series, including a 2-1 victory in Ithaca last year.

Penn hopes to carry the momentum from its first win of the 2007 season into Saturday’s game. The Quakers combined increased ball control with a solid team effort on the defensive end to shut out Lafayette, 1-0. Kara Bolger scored her first goal of the season for Penn, providing all the offense the Quakers would need. Alanna Butera was ready the one time she was called upon, making one save in the shutout.

Cornell enters the game undefeated, including a 2-1 overtime victory in its Ivy League opener against Columbia. Alyssa DePaola scored 4:26 into overtime to win the game for the Big Red. The goal was her second of the year, good for the team lead.

Getting shots on goal is difficult against Cornell as they have only allowed 14 total to reach the net in three games. The Big Red goalkeepers were prepared for the few shots that reached them, only allowing two to slipinto the goal.

Penn has turned its attention to controlling the middle of the field and setting up aggressive scoring opportunities. In the first half against Lafayette, Penn was able to produce five shots on goal and keep possession in the Leopards’ end. The Quakers were able to draw penalty corners and keep the pressure on the Leopards. A similar effort will be needed against Cornell.

“Cornell is a tough team with a lot of speed,” head coach Val Cloud said, “We need to do a better job of marking and we must not give up any cheap corners.”

Finding the balance between an aggressive attack and a stifling defense will be the determining factor in whether or not the Quakers can beat the Big Red and start a winning streak.