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PHILADLEPHIA - Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, No. 20 Penn head to familiar territory this weekend, jumping into Ivy League play with a trip to Cambridge to take on Harvard on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Quakers have won at least a share of the last six Ivy League titles, claiming sole possession of five championships. Dating back to the start of the 2007 season, the Quakers have posted a 33-2 record against Ancient Eight opponents and are 17-1 on the road against League opponents.
The Red and Blue have not lost three regular season games in a row since April 13-20, 2005 and are looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak since April 19, 2003-Feb. 28, 2004. To get back in the win column, the Quakers will need to up the ante on attack. Penn has scored just 18 goals over three games, scoring five apiece the last two times on the field. In order to increase the goal total, the Quakers will need to increase the shots taken. Through three games, Penn is averaging 16.3 shots-per-game and 13.0 shots on goal-per-game.
Freshman Iris Williamson has done her part to create offense, leading the Quakers in goals (five), shots (nine) and shots on goal (six) entering the weekend. Maddie Poplawski is tied with Williamson for the team lead in points via her three goals and two assists.
Defensively, Penn has done its part, limiting opponents to 9.3 goals-per-game. The possession game is as even as it can get. Penn has committed 35 turnovers, so has its opponents. The Quakers have caused 18 turnovers, so have their opponents. Making the most of the opportunities given will change the course of the season for Penn as it looks to continue its nation-best streak of six consecutive conference championships.
Meg Markham has five ground balls to lead Penn's defenders, while goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson has seven. Leah McBride and Poplawski lead the Quakers with three caused turnovers.
Penn is riding a 13-game winning streak against the Crimson, winning all 12 regular season meetings since 2001 and picking up a win in the Ivy League Tournament semifinals last May. The Quakers have not lost in Cambridge since 1999, a perfect 6-0 under head coach Karin Corbett.
The Crimson are 0-2 overall this season, dropping a pair of road games at Stanford and Cornell. While Harvard has scored 25 goals over its two games, it has cause for concern on the defensive side. Through two games, the Crimson have allowed 35 goals, averaging 17.5 goals allowed-per-game.
Freshman Alexis Nicolia has eight goals through her first two collegiate games, including a five-goal outing in her first outing at Stanford. Micaela Cyr has nine points on five goals and four assists while also owning eight draw control wins.
In goal, Annie Meyjes has made both starts and has made 17 saves over her two games - including 14 in the loss to the Cardinal. She has helped the Crimson remain stingy on the free position. Holding opponents to just 5-for-19 on free positions while Harvard has connected on four of six similar opportunities.