PHILADELPHIA - The Penn field hockey team, under the guidance of first-year Head Coach Colleen Fink, opens the 2010 season at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 6 on Franklin Field versus Rider University.
Following the Action: Fans who are unable to catch the game in person can watch a live webcast on the Penn Sports Network, as well as follow the contest via live stats.
Under New Management: Head Coach Colleen Fink leads the Quakers in her first season at Penn after a successful four-year stint at Haverford College where she led the Fords to the program's first playoff win. During her tenure, the Fords improved each year, culminating in last year's run when they made their first-ever playoff appearance and gained their first playoff win in the Centennial Conference. Katelyn O'Brien, who was Fink's assistant for four seasons at Haverford, also joins the Penn coaching staff for 2010.
2009 Review: Led by a strong senior class of six, including second-team All-Ivy midfielder Katie Rose and honorable mention selection Katie Burke, the Quakers finished the year 5-12 overall and 2-5 in the Ivy League. Penn experienced quite a bit of tough luck, including five losses by just one goal, four of those in overtime. This adversity has given 2010's team a new aggressive mentality and an added hunger to take care of business in regulation.
Penn's Top Returners: Offense - The Quakers return nine letterwinners from 2009, including two honorable mention All-Ivy selections in senior co-captain Laurel McGarvie and sophomore Sarah Hasson. McGarvie led last year's squad with seven goals, while Hasson netted five goals and assisted in three. Penn will look to co-captain Annie Matthews to have an elevated role offensively in her senior year, as well as junior Kirstin Snyder who both appeared in every contest and found the back of the cage twice last fall. Junior Abigail Egan was also a regular on the field and put a winning goal on the board for the Quakers.
Defense - Junior Caroline Olt and goalkeeper Kieran Sweeney will give the Red and Blue a great deal of experience on the turf, having started all 17 games in 2009. Sweeney accumulated 104 saves and a 2.31 goals against average in her sophomore season.
Fresh Faces: Penn lists seven freshmen to its roster, including familiar names in Olivia Olt, sister of Caroline, and Julie Tahan, sister of 2010 graduate Kelsey Tahan, who co-led the team in points last season. The rest of the class - Christina Benvenuti, Amelia Cohen, Katie Harrington, Sarah Middough, and Sunny Stirewalt - have all experienced a great deal of team success at the scholastic level and look to continue winning collegiately.
Academic Aces: Penn returns NFHCA National Academic Squad selections junior Erin Healy, and sophomores Mandy Epstein, Breanne Medford, and Danielle Rothman.
Scouting the Broncs: With an appointment with Colgate on Saturday and having topped La Salle 4-1 last weekend, Rider will arrive to Franklin Field with two games already in the books. The Broncs have been identified as the favorite to win the Northeast Conference this season after winning the 2009 regular season conference championship with a 17-2 record. They return 14 letterwinners from that team, including eight starters.