Ivy Field Hockey Title at Stake Tonight

PHILADELPHIA – For every senior collegiate athlete, the hope is that your final home game carries extra meaning. Sure, it is nice to partake in the traditional senior night festivities. You are glad that your friends and family are there to join you in celebration of all the hard work and dedication it took to reach this culminating point in your career. The perfect vision of senior night is one that involves you and your team celebrating at the end of the game, not just at the beginning.

For the eight women who comprise the senior class of Penn field hockey in 2007, tonight’s final home game against Princeton provides such an opportunity. The goal is simple. Win and you are champions. Defeat your archrival and clinch a share of Penn’s first Ivy League title since 2004. Most importantly, a victory tonight keeps your dream to play another game alive.

If Princeton wins tonight, the math is simple. A win for the Tigers clinches sole possession of first place in the Ivy League and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A Quaker victory sets off unprecedented chaos in the Ivy League. For only the second time in league history, there is the possibility of a four-way tie for first place. The only time such an occurrence happened was in 1991 when Brown, Cornell, Harvard and Princeton all tied with a .667 win percentage. That year, Harvard advanced to the NCAA Tournament via the tie-breakers. The difference between the possible 2007 tie and any previous situation is that the selection of the Ivy’s automatic bid could come down to a random draw held at the league office on Saturday following the completion of league play.

There are four possible scenarios that come into play if Penn wins this evening.

SCENARIO 1

Penn defeats Princeton

Columbia defeats Harvard (HARVARD ELIMINATED)

Cornell defeats Dartmouth

First, take the combined records of the four tied teams against each other:

Penn 2-1 against COL/COR/PR

Cornell 2-1 against COL/PENN/PR

Columbia 1-2 against COR/PENN/PR (COLUMBIA ELIMINATED)

Princeton 1-2 against COL/COR/PENN (PRINCETON ELIMINATED)

Next, look at the records against the fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth place team in the standings:

Harvard would be the fifth-place team in this scenario.

Cornell and Penn both 0-1 against Harvard.

Cornell and Penn either have or will have beaten 6-7-8 (again, Dartmouth on Saturday)

Both teams, thus, qualify for a random draw.

THE RESULT IS A RANDOM DRAW, conducted by the Executive Director on Saturday night at 6:00p.

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SCENARIO 2

Penn defeats Princeton

Harvard defeats Columbia (COLUMBIA ELIMINATED)

Cornell defeats Dartmouth

First, take the combined records of the four tied teams against each other:

Penn 2-1 against COR/H/PR

Harvard 2-1 against COR/PENN/PR

Cornell 1-2 against H/PE/NNPR (CORNELL ELIMINATED)

Princeton 1-2 against COR/H/PENN (PRINCETON ELIMINATED)

Next, look at the records against the fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth place team in the standings:

Columbia would be the fifth-place team in this scenario.

Harvard 1-0 against COL (again, on Friday night at Columbia)

Penn 0-1 against COL (PENN ELIMINATED)

THE RESULT IS THAT HARVARD EARNS THE PLAY-IN BERTH.

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SCENARIO 3

Penn defeats Princeton

Columbia defeats Harvard (HARVARD ELIMINATED)

Dartmouth defeats Cornell (CORNELL ELIMINATED)

First, take the combined records of the three tied teams against each other:

Columbia 1-1 against PENN/PR

Penn 1-1 against COL/PR

Princeton 1-1 against COL/PENN

Next, look at the records against the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth place team in the standings:

Cornell and Harvard end up tied for fourth in this scenario.

Columbia 1-1 against COR/H

Penn 1-1 against COR/H

Princeton 1-1 against COR/H

All three teams have beaten the 6-7-8 and, thus, qualify for a random draw.

THE RESULT IS A RANDOM DRAW, conducted by the Executive Director on Saturday night at 6:00p.

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SCENARIO 4

Penn defeats Princeton

Harvard defeats Columbia (COLUMBIA ELIMINATED)

Dartmouth defeats Cornell (CORNELL ELIMINATED0

First, take the combined records of the three tied teams against each other:

Harvard 1-1 against PENN/PR

Penn 1-1 against H/PR

Princeton 1-1 against H/PENN

Next, look at the records against the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth place team in the standings:

Columbia and Cornell end up tied for fourth in this scenario.

Harvard 2-0 against COL/COR

Penn 1-1 against COL/COR (PENN ELIMINATED)

Princeton 1-1 against COL/COR (PRINCETON ELIMINATED)

THE RESULT IS THAT HARVARD EARNS THE PLAY-IN BERTH.

Penn and head coach Val Cloud realize that none of the above matters until the final whistle is blown Friday night with Penn ahead on the scoreboard.

“Our priority is winning this game and then the rest will take care of itself,” said Cloud before practice this week.

Princeton enters the game on an eight-game winning streak and a 12-4 record overall. Three of the Tigers’ four losses have come at the hands of ranked teams, including #2 Maryland. Included in the 12 wins is a 2-1 victory over then-#3 UCONN. Most recently, Princeton disposed of Monmouth, 9-1 at home on Tuesday.

Christina Bortz enters the game second in points in the Ivy League with 30. Her 12 goals on the season also rank second. Cynthia Wray is second in the conference in goals-against-average and shutouts.

If Penn is to win the game, clinch its fifth winning season in a row, and grab a piece of its eighth Ivy title, the senior class of 2007 will be a big part of the success. Nicole Black leads the team in goals and points. Jamie Calahan and Meghan Rose have added career-highs in goals as well. Melissa Black and Nicole Levi have anchored a defense that has gotten better as the season as progressed. Kara Bolger and Andrea Rockey have each won games with goals off the bench this season. This group started their Penn careers with an Ivy title, and would like nothing more than to cap their careers with one as well.

The game begins at 7:15, but please be sure to arrive early as Penn honors the senior class of 2007.