PHILADELPHIA Ivy League field hockey action returns to Franklin Field on Friday as Penn hosts Yale in the 31st meeting between the two schools. Penn boasts a 19-9-2 advantage in the series. The Quakers enter the game with a 6-7 record and are 2-2 in Ivy play. The Bulldogs are 7-6 with a 2-2 mark in the conference.
The Quakers are looking to rebound from a tough weekend that saw them drop games against Drexel and at Columbia. The loss in the Big Apple was especially heartbreaking as it came in overtime against a Columbia team that Penn had beaten five times in a row. The Quakers squandered a chance to move into second place in the Ivy League and instead sit in a three-way tie for fourth with Columbia and Yale. If the Quakers are to have a shot at winning the Ivy League championship they must win their remaining three league games, starting with the Bulldogs.
The name of the game tonight for Penn will be defense, specifically shutting down the Ivy League’s leading scorer Ashley McCauley. She enters the game first in the Ancient Eight in both goals (12) and points (28). In fact, her points-per-game average of 2.15 ranks sixth in the country. The focus cannot be focusedsolely on McCauley though, as the Bulldogs bring with them Cat Lindroth, who is second in both goals and points in the Ivy League.
Turning defense into offense will be important for Penn. The Quakers have shown a penchant for creating their own offense this year, finding the open attacker in the circle and converting on those opportunities. That effort must be continued tonight as Yale boasts one of the country’s best goalkeepers in Charlotte Goins. She has the highest save percentage in the nation at .847. In addition, her saves-per-game average of 9.77 is fourth in the country. Getting shots on goal is one thing. Getting shots past Goins is another.
Meghan Rose and Nicole Black lead a senior class that is looking to accomplish something that no senior class has done since the class of 1995; defeat Yale all four times they played. Rose and Black are tied with Margaretha Ehret for the team-lead in goals with five. Each has carried the team for periods of time this season, providing the offense at critical junctures of games. In order for Penn to accomplish what they set out to do this year, all three will need to be on their games the rest of the way.
The Quakers welcome back all alumni during Homecoming Weekend as the first 100 fans will receive drawstring backpacks compliments of Penn Athletics.
As always, all Penn field hockey home games will feature live stats over the internet. Please join us at www.pennathletics.com starting at 7:15 p.m. for all the action.