PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team has started Ivy League play with a pair of dramatic wins, going to overtime to beat Cornell and Harvard. After a standout performance Tuesday in a 5-0 win over Lafayette, the Quakers get back into Ancient Eight action as they host Dartmouth Saturday at noon on Ellen Vagelos Field.
Ivy League Digital Network
If you can’t make it to Ellen Vagelos Field on Saturday, fear not! All home games, and most Ivy League road matches, can be watched LIVE this year 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!
The Series With Dartmouth
The Quakers lead the Big Green, 20-16 with three ties, but Dartmouth has won six of the last seven meetings including a 5-3 decision last year in Hanover, N.H. The lone Penn win in those last seven games came at Ellen Vagelos Field two years ago, a 5-4 overtime decision.
The Big Green (4-5, 0-2 Ivy) enter the weekend with conference losses to Princeton (7-3) and Brown (2-1). Most recently, Dartmouth beat Providence, 5-2. Julia Donald has eight goals and 17 points, while Rebecca Hu has seven goals and 17 points; they lead the attack. Brooke Van Valkenburg has four goals, while Eliza Becker has a team-high eight assists. In goal, Paige Duffy has a 2.99 goals-against average and a .671 save percentage.
*After a season-opening loss at Liberty, Penn has won eight games in a row; the last time that happened was 2004, when the Quakers won their last eight contests en route to a share of the Ivy League title.
*Penn is 8-1 after nine games, the best nine-game start in program history. The previous best nine-game start came in 1988, when the Quakers were 7-1-1. That Penn team eventually reached the NCAA semifinal round.
*Sophomore Alexa Hoover had a big day Tuesday against Lafayette, scoring three times and adding an assist for seven points. In the process, she broke the program’s single-season points record (with 44) and tied the single-season goals mark (20) -- with seven regular-season games still left to play! Both records were previously held by Liz Lorelli, who hit 20 goals and 43 points in 2003.
*Senior co-captain Elizabeth Hitti, who had a goal and two assists on Tuesday, has recorded at least a point in every game this season. She has 19 points so far this season (4g, 11a), and enters the weekend leading the nation in assists per game.
*Sophomore Rachel Huang had Penn’s other goal Tuesday, her second of the season. Penn has six different players who have scored at least twice this season.
*Junior captain Elise Tilton provided the heroics last Saturday at Harvard, scoring the OT winner for her second tally of the season. Hitti was given the assist on the winning play.
*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. Those five goals have come over Penn’s last seven contests, and she has scored in both Ivy contests to date.
*The story through nine games, of course, has been Hoover who enters the weekend leading the nation in goals and points per game.
*Just past the midway point of the season, Hoover has already easily surpassed her goal and point totals for ALL of last season -- when she led the Ivy League in goals (14) and was third among Ivy players in points (31).
*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. 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 and Lafayette this season, Hoover already has five games with three or more goals in her young career.
*Freshman Selena Garzio, who had an assist on Tuesday, has seven points so far this season (2g, 3a). She and fellow freshman Karen Seid (1a) are the two newcomers who have started all nine games so far this season.
*In goal, sophomore Liz Mata has played all but 20 minutes of game action this season; she has a 2.32 goals-against average and a .673 save percentage.
*Freshman Reina Kern saw her first collegiate action in Penn’s win over Saint Joseph’s on September 11, and had one save while allowing a goal; she also played Tuesday against Lafayette.