PHILADELPHIA – It’s time to begin anew. After having its most successful season in a decade, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team begins its 2014 season with two home matches against Lehigh and Bucknell over the weekend.
The Quakers are set to take on Lehigh (0-2) at 3 p.m. on Friday, and Bucknell (1-1) at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Entering her fifth season at the helm, head coach Colleen Fink is looking for her team to continue to build upon the success of last season. The Quakers win total has improved each season under Fink.
Penn welcomes nine new faces to the program, and returns eight letterwinners, including five starters. The Quakers are led by their three senior captains Helene Caniglia, Emily Corcoran, and Alex Iqbal.
This weekend’s matches will be shown live online on the Penn Sports Network and be featured as part of the Ivy League Digital Network’s Free Weekend. For more information about the ILDN Free Weekend, click here.
SCOUTING LEHIGH: The Mountain Hawks enter their game versus Penn, 0-2, after having been defeated, 2-1, in their home opener against Saint Joseph’s, and 5-2 versus Saint Francis (Pa.) two days later. Junior Lindsay Schott has tallied two of Lehigh’s three goals, with sophomore Amanda Granger scoring the other. Sophomore Julia Ward has seen the majority of time in goal thus far, totaling 13 saves, with a 3.33 goals-against average.
THE SERIES WITH LEHIGH: This will be the 14th meeting between the Quakers and Mountain Hawks, with Penn holding an 11-1-1 advantage. The non-conference matchup began in 1984 with the teams squaring off annually until 1992. The series was held again once in 1995, before returning in 2011. This will be the fourth straight season the teams meet, with Penn having won the last two meetings, 5-4 and 5-2.
SCOUTING BUCKNELL: Starting the season 1-1, the Bison dropped an overtime game, 3-2, to Rutgers in their season opener and were victorious, 3-1, over Monmouth in game two. Bucknell is led by seniors Cassie Lawrence and Liz Willis, each with two goals. Junior goalkeeper Shannon Keen has made nine saves with a 2.47 goals-against average in nearly 146 minutes played.
THE SERIES WITH BUCKNELL: Penn and the Bison have met three times previous, with Penn winning two of those meetings (1999 and 2007). Last season, Bucknell clipped the Quakers 2-1 at home in September.
SEASON OPENERS UNDER COACH FINK: This will be Coach Fink’s fifth season-opener, with Penn having gone 2-2 in previous openers. The Quakers are 1-1 in home season-opening games under her direction.
ELLEN VAGELOS FIELD – YEAR TWO: The Quakers will be starting their second season at Ellen Vagelos Field on campus. Penn posted a 7-2 record on its new home AstroTurf in year one, that included wins against Cornell, Pacific, La Salle, Dartmouth, Appalachian State, Yale, and Villanova.
QUAKER CAPTAINS: Penn’s three captains this season are seniors Helene Caniglia, Emily Corcoran, and Alex Iqbal. Caniglia has started all 51 games of her Penn career thus far, totaling 19 points, with six goals and seven assists. She has recorded two game-winning goals, along with six defensive saves. Corcoran is the top-returning scorer for the Quakers, with 13 goals in 2013. She was named Second-team NFHCA All-Region and Second-team All-Ivy. She has totaled 49 points in 51 games played in her career thus far. Coming off an injury in 2012, Iqbal returned in 2013, starting all 17 games. She collected three assists and one defensive save during the season, and has five goals and 15 points thus far in her career.