PHILADELPHIA--The 2007 Penn field hockey team will open its season this weekend with a pair of games at Temple’s Geasey Field. On Saturday the Quakers square off against the Owls at 11 a.m. The meeting with be the 45th all-time between the two schools. On Sunday, Penn faces Kent State at 1 p.m. The game is the first between the Quakers and the Golden Flashes.
Penn will face off against a Temple team that returns ten starters from last year’s team, including captain Alli Lokey. Lokey led the Owls in six offensive categories last season, including goals, points, and game-winning goals. She has led the team in points the last two seasons. Temple goalie Erin Hanshue has already made a mark on Owl field hockey, ranking eighth in all-time saves with 174 in just two seasons. Last season, Hanshue ranked sixth nationally in goals-against average.
The Quakers’ second game of the season will be against a Golden Flashes squad that is coming off a 7-15 season, including a 3-7 record in the Mid-American Conference. Kent State enters the weekend 0-2 following a pair of 3-2 losses against Bucknell and Delaware. Junior Natalie Barrett leads the Golden Flashes in scoring with two goals and an assist in the two games. Senior Charlotte Muller also returns for Kent State after finishing second on the team in scoring in 2006. Senior Kara Copeland has seen all the action in net, posting a goals against average of 2.92.
Following a 9-8 season, the Quakers look to get off to a good start Saturday by defeating their cross-town rivals. Penn will look to take advantage of its depth and experience with 20 returning letterwinners including senior captains Jamie Callahan and Meghan Rose. Rose led the team in assists in 2006 with six while Callahan finished the season second in assists with four. Senior Nicole Black ended the season with eight goals.
At forward, Penn has considerable experience with six upperclassmen. Black and Callahan have 54 career starts between them and fellow seniors Kara Bolger and Andrea Rockey are key contributors as well. Both are three-time letterwinners. Juniors Rachel Eng and Nina Ferrier will split time between forward and midfield. Freshmen Laurel McGarvie will also see time at both forward and midfield.
At midfield, Penn boasts six returning letterwinners. Meghan Rose looks to provide leadership, having started 34 of 38 games played throughout her career. Junior Margaretha Ehret started all 17 games in her first season after transferring from Virginia and Meredith Moran is a two-time letterwinner with plenty of experience. Three sophomores look to build on their rookie seasons: Katie Rose comes off a first year that ended with an honorable-mention All-Ivy selection. Katie Moran and Stephanie Ragg add depth and look to gain valuable experience this season. Freshmen Anne Matthews joins the Quakers this season and will look to make a good first impression on the field.
Penn also returns six letterwinners in the back. Seniors Melissa Black, Nicole Levi and Kelsey Nickles lead the way. Black has the most experience on the team with 51 career games played, including 48 starts. The former Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2004 hopes to cap her impressive career with an Ivy League title. Levi has started all but one of her 34 games played and looks to build off her second-team All-Ivy performance in 2006. Nickles will see time at back and midfield, providing leadership at both positions. Sara Cherico enters her junior season looking to gain experience and provide depth in the backfield. Sophomore Sarah Warner saw action in six games last year and will see an increased role this year. Fellow second-year players Katie Burke and Kelsey Tahan will alternate between back and midfield.
In goal, Penn looks to replace the graduated Liz Schlossberg with junior Alanna Butera and freshman Sara Heinze. Butera has yet to allow a goal in her collegiate career, while Heinze is coming off a senior season where she was named her high school team’s Most Valuable Player.
Some notes heading into the weekend...
Penn returns 20 letterwinners, including eight starters, from a team that tied for second in the Ivy League last year. Among those letterwinners are four All-Ivy selections from last yearunanimous first-teamer Meghan Rose, second-teamers Nicole Black and Nicole Levi, and honorable mention selection Katie Rose.
Eight seniors will be playing their final season for the Quakers in 2007. Melissa Black, Nicole Black, Kara Bolger, Jamie Calahan, Nicole Levi, Kelsey Nickles, Andrea Rockey and Meghan Rose accounted for 16 of the team’s 27 goals scored and 46 of its 76 points last season.
The Quakers hope to find the same success near home that they did last season, when they went 4-1 at Franklin Field and 5-1 in the city of Philadelphia. This year, Penn has seven home games on its schedule and three more in the Philadelphia area.
Penn returns a tremendous amount of experience in 2007. Nine players have seen action in at least 20 games during their careers, and six have topped the 30-game mark. Senior Melissa Black leads the way with 51 games played.
Black also leads the team with 48 career starts. Overall, seven players have been in the starting lineup at least 10 times.
Senior Meghan Rose, last year’s Anne Townsend Most Valuable Player recipient, became the first player since Liz Lorelli and Elizabeth Schlossberg in 2004 to garner unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection from the conference coaches.
Rose also led the 2006 Quakers with six assists. She has dished out 13 in her career, and could move into Penn’s top five all-time list by the end of this season.
Three of Rose’s four goals last season were gamewinners, including an overtime score against Rutgers that gave Penn a dramatic 2-1 road victory.
Senior Nicole Black returns as the Quakers’ active scoring leader. Black, a second-team All-Ivy selection last year who led the team last season with eight goals and 16 points, has poured in 10 goals for 20 points during her career.
Junior Alanna Butera is the Quakers’ top returning goalie. She will face the challenge of replacing three-time All-Ivy selection Elizabeth Schlossberg, who saw the bulk of time in goal last season. Butera started one game last year and showed signs that the goalie position will be in good hands, as she shut out UMBC in Baltimore.
In front of Butera, seniors Kelsey Nickles, Melissa Black and second-team All-Ivy selection Nicole Levi will anchor a defense that registered four shutouts last season. The trio has been together in the backfield in nearly every game the past two seasons.
Senior Jamie Calahan, who joins Meghan Rose as a co-captain for this year’s Quaker squad, scored her first collegiate goal last season to help Penn edge Yale 3-2. She appeared in all 17 games last season, starting 16.
Sophomore Kathryn Rose will be looking to build upon a strong freshman year that saw her win the team’s Gail Lipstein Outstanding Freshman Award. Rose earned honorable mention All-Ivy recognition for her season, in which she saw action in all 17 of the Quakers’ games and started 14, the most starts by a Penn freshman last season.
Junior Nina Ferrier was recipient of the Most Improved Player Award last season. As a sophomore, she tallied her first collegiate goal in a 3-1 victory over Lafayette and appeared in 15 games.
Junior Margaretha Ehret made an immediate impact at Penn last year, after transferring from Virginia following her freshman season. While starting all 17 games last year, Ehret knocked in two goals including the gamewinner against Harvard. She also added three assists.
Seven Quakers Melissa Black, Alanna Butera, Sara Cherico, Margaretha Ehret, Kathleen Moran, Kelsey Tahan, and Lucy Voorhees made the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Academic Squad last season.