PHILADELPHIA Ivy League competition begins on Saturday for the Penn field hockey team as it travels to Cambridge to square off against the Harvard Crimson. The two teams finished last season tied for second in the Ancient Eight with matching 4-3 records in conference play.
The Quakers enter this weekend with a 0-3 record. Their most recent defeat came at the hands of Saint Joseph’s, 2-1. Despite the final score, the Quakers may have momentum on their side if they can build off the impressive second half they put together against the Hawks. Penn carried the play as they tried to come from behind. The Quakers were aggressive, earning five penalty corners and firing six shots on goal.
The key for Penn is to convert on its chances. The Quakers have scored only four goals in three games while managing 21 shots on goal. Margaretha Ehret leads the team in both goals (2) and shots on goal (11). If the Quakers are to be successful this weekend in Boston, offensive production must be found in other places as well.
Penn looks for a repeat of last year’s meeting with the Crimson where the Quakers entered that game with a 0-3 record and defeated Harvard 2-0 for their first victory of the season.
Harvard enters the game with a 1-1 record. In their most recent game, the Crimson defeated the University of New Hampshire, 3-2. The win was the 250th in school history. Kristin Bannon leads Harvard with a goal and an assist on the young season. Leigh McCoy and Francine Polet had also added goals for the Crimson; Polet’s the game-winner against the Wildcats.
Head coach Val Cloud hopes that her team’s performance against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday is a harbinger of things to come. “Hopefully we can take the second half of this game with us to Harvard. We started out 0-3 last year but were able to defeat Harvard and turn our season around.”
With the early season non-conference schedule out of the way, Penn turns its focus to the all-important Ivy League. Winning an Ivy title is clearly on Cloud’s mind. “The Ivy League title is what we are here for,” said Cloud.