PHILADELPHIA – For the second time in three years, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team hosts Princeton in a game that, for the Quakers, features all kinds of ramifications. Penn and Princeton face off at noon on Ellen Vagelos Field.
What’s At Stake
IF PRINCETON WINS: The Tigers win the Ivy League title outright at 7-0, and earn the league’s automatic NCAA postseason berth.
IF PENN WINS: The Quakers and the Tigers tie for the Ivy League title, both at 6-1; however, Penn earns the league’s NCAA berth by virtue of winning the head-to-head meeting.
This was the same scenario two years ago at Ellen Vagelos Field. The Tigers won that game, 5-1, to earn the Ivy title and the NCAA bid.
Ivy League Digital Network
Saturday’s game will be televised live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Fans who can’t make it to Ellen Vagelos Field but want to watch the game live can purchase the ILDN’s School Day Pass, which you can access on Saturday. Click here for more details!
Around The Ivy League
The regular season ends this weekend with three Saturday matches and one on Sunday. At the same time Penn (5-1) and Princeton (6-0) are facing off, Cornell (4-2) and Dartmouth (2-4) also will be facing off in Hanover. One hour later, Brown (1-5) and Yale (0-6) finish their seasons with each other in New Haven. On Sunday, Harvard (3-3) and Columbia (3-3) close the books on the 2015 regular season in New York City.
The Series with Princeton
The Tigers lead the series, 23-16-3, and have dominated this series literally for decades -- Princeton has won 10 in a row over Penn, and 20 of the last 21 matchups.
The Tigers (9-6) are led by Maddie Copeland; the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week has 15 goals and 32 points. Sophia Tornetta has 18 points, Ryan McCarthy has 16, and Teresa Benvenuti has a team-high 10 assists and 14 points. McCarthy and Nicole Catalino have scored six goals each. Cat Caro, Annabeth Donovan and Kate Ferrara all were second-team All-ivy last year. In goal, Anya Gersoff has a 2.30 goals-against average and a .685 save percentage.
Thank You, Seniors!
Saturday represents the final home game for four seniors -- Alex Agathis, Elizabeth Hitti, Stephanie Honig, and Nicole Mackin (who spent the last two years in the program after transferring from Robert Morris). The four-year players have been a part of 43 wins during their careers; only the Class of 1990 had more wins, with 45.
*After a season-opening loss at Liberty, Penn has won 13 of its last 14 games. The Quakers had a program-record nine-game winning streak ended at Columbia on October 16.
*Penn is 13-2 after 15 games, the second-best 15-game start in program history. The best 15-game start came in 1988, when the Quakers were 13-1-1. That Penn team eventually reached the NCAA semifinal round.
*Penn is one win shy of the program record set by the 1988 team. The 2004 and 2013 teams also reached 13 victories.
*Penn has reached double figures in the win column for the second time in three years, and the 12th time in program history dating back to 1973.
*Penn finished 4-0 against the city schools this year, defeating Drexel, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova. The Quakers will not play La Salle this season.
*Penn has played five overtime games this season. The program record for OT games in one season is seven, set in 1997; the Quakers went 3-4 in those contests. The 1990 team played six overtime games, going 2-2-2. The current team is tied for third in that category with the 1984 and 2000 squads, which also played five OT games (going 1-0-4 and 0-5, respectively).
*Penn is 4-1 in its OT games this season; under Colleen Fink, the Quakers are 11-5 when going to extra time.
*Penn started 3-0 in Ivy League play for the second time in three years; prior to 2013, the last time the Quakers were 3-0 after three Ivy matches was 1995.
*Penn -- which has scored at least twice in all but one game so far this season -- has five different players who have scored at least five times this season.
*Sophomore Alexa Hoover has already shattered the program’s single-season records for goals (27) and points (63). Both records were previously held by Liz Lorelli, who had 20 goals and 43 points in 2003.
*With 41 goals, Hoover -- a sophomore -- needs just three to tie the program’s record for goals in a career. That is held by Lisa Romig, who had 44 from 1978-81. Hoover’s 94 career points are five shy of the record 98, also held by Romig.
*Hoover -- who has scored in all but three games this year – entered the week second in the nation in goals per game (1.80) and points per game (4.20).
*Hoover has nearly doubled her totals for ALL of last season, when she led the Ivy League in goals (14) and was third among Ivy players in points (31).
*Hoover has been named Ivy League Player of the Week four times this season, a Penn record for one season. The last player honored so many times in the same season in field hockey was Princeton’s Kathleen Sharkey in 2012.
*Last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Hoover set a program record for goals in a game when she notched five against Saint Joseph’s on September 11. The previous record of four was met three times in program history, most recently by Judy Jaczun against Dartmouth in 1989. (Perhaps most impressive was that Hoover had her five goals while there was still more than 20 minutes left in regulation.)
*Senior co-captain Elizabeth Hitti had an assist last Saturday at Brown, giving her 17 assists for the season and 33 for her career; both of those numbers broke program records set originally by Nancy Lock, who had 16 assists in 1980 and totaled 32 assists from 1978-81.
*Hitti has 29 points this season (6g, 17a), and entered the week leading the nation in assists per game (1.13).
*Junior co-captain Elise Tilton has five goals this season -- including the first tally each of the last two weeks -- and ended things on consecutive Ivy League Saturdays against Harvard and Dartmouth with the winning goals in OT. She is tied for third on the team with 15 points.
*Freshman Selena Garzio, who scored the winner last Saturday at Brown, now has 15 points this season (6g, 3a) which is tied with Tilton for third on the team. She was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Tuesday.
*Freshman Sofia Palacios scored her first collegiate goal vs. Yale; she also has an assist this season.
*Sophomore Rachel Huang had Penn’s only goal at Columbia, her third of the season.
*Sophomore Gina Guccione got the Harvard game to overtime, scoring her fifth goal of the season with just 3:43 left in regulation off a Huang feed. She has scored in two of the Quakers’ four Ivy matches so far.
*Claire Kneizys has five assists on the penalty corner unit this season; she is fourth on the team in that category.
*Garzio and fellow freshman Karen Seid (1a) are the two newcomers who have started every game so far this season. Senior Alex Agathis also has an assist this season.
*In goal, sophomore Liz Mata has played all but 20 minutes of game action this season; she has a 2.13 goals-against average and a .694 save percentage.