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PHILADELPHIA - A stretch of five Ivy League games in 15 days continues for No. 10 Penn (7-3, 3-0 Ivy) as the Quakers head to Princeton (8-4, 4-1 Ivy) in a battle to gain inside track on the Ivy title and hosting the Ivy League Tournament.
The Quakers have played two fewer Ivy games than the other seven schools, but the Red and Blue are the lone to team yet to suffer a defeat in Ancient Eight play. Seven of the eight ivy teams are still alive for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament with two weeks of League games left on the docket.
Penn has won seven of its last nine meetings with Princeton after going winless in 13 contests. The Quakers have not lost at Princeton since 2006. The last meeting in New Jersey was on April 25, 2012 – a 13-8 win for the Quakers which clinched an Ivy championship.
Both teams are inside the Top-15 of the most recent RPI released by the NCAA, Penn ranked No. 8 and Princeton ranked No. 15 as this match provides another opportunity for both teams to further secure potential NCAA Tournament selections.
The Quakers have been dominating defensively, leading the Ivy League in scoring defense and ranking 14th nationally with 8.10 goals allowed-per-game. Over ten games in 2014, Penn has allowed 10 or more goals in just three contests. In Ivy play, Penn has allowed 19 goals in three games – an average of 6.3 per League contest.
Penn’s staunch defense in Ivy games will be tested by a Princeton offense which is averaging 13.6 goals-per-game inside the League and has scored 10 or more in all five Ivy games. The Red and Blue have scored above their season average when stepping on the field in Ivy games, netting 10.0 goals-per-game in Ivy games – well above their season average of 8.10.
Meg Markham ranks second in the country in caused turnovers entering Wednesday’s game, averaging 2.7 per game. Teammate Allie Martin is 29th in the country in caused turnovers with an average of 1.6 per game. Those two national leaders have combined with their compatriots on the defensive unit to have Penn leading the Ivy League and ranking 25th nationally in caused turnovers with 9.4 per game.
Lucy Ferguson enters Wednesday’s game with a 7.97 goals-against average, good for second in the Ivy League and 13th overall in Division I. Her .479 save percentage is best in the Ivy League and ranks 17th nationally.
Sophomore Nina Corcoran has almost tripled her point total from her freshman season with her 24 points through 10 games this year after totaling just nine as a rookie. Her 13 goals are third on the club, but her 11 assists are tops on the team. She is the only player on Penn’s roster to record at least one point in every game this season.
Senior Tory Bensen is tied for the team lead with 18 goals. She has scored at least one goal in eight of ten games this season. After going without a goal in Penn’s previous two games, she scored one goal and added an assist last weekend at Dartmouth.
Joining Bensen in the team lead in goals is sophomore Lely DeSimone. After playing primarily as a defensive midfielder in 2013, DeSimone has taken to her more offensive role in 2014 with goals in nine of 10 appearances.
Princeton lost three of its first four games, but has responded with wins in seven of its next eight – the lone loss an 8-7 defeat to No. 2 Maryland. The only blemish on Princeton’s Ivy record came in its first League game – a 14-13 loss to Brown in overtime.
Erin McMunn, the 2013 Ivy League Attacker of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, leads Princeton in goal scoring with 24 goals and her 34 points are tied with Erin Slifer for the team lead. Slifer’s 34 points have come off 19 goals and 15 assists, one of two balanced scoring options along with Olivia Hompe who has 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points. Overall, Princeton has eight players with 13 or more goals this season. Together, that group has accounted for 147 of Princeton’s 157 goals.
Junior Annie Woehling has a 7-1 record in goal after taking over early in the season. She leads the Ancient Eight in save percentage at .477 and her goals-against average of 8.06 is third.