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PHILADELPHIA - No. 18 Penn looks to end a two-game losing skid with a mid-week trip to Rutgers on Wednesday (3 p.m.) and get the season back on track heading into Ivy League play this Saturday.
The Quakers had not started a season 0-2 since the 1999 campaign, where Penn went 0-7 to start the year. Under Karin Corbett, the Quakers have lost three or more regular season games in a row six times, and have not done so since April 13-20, 2005.
To get in the win column, the Quakers will look to build upon a stingy defensive effort over the final 30 minutes of action against No. 3 North Carolina last time out. Despite the 11-5 score, the Quakers were very good on the defensive end in the second half, limiting the Tar Heels to just two goals - both in the final 2:43 of play and with Penn's goalkeeper out of the net playing as an extra defender. Maddie Poplawski had a big hand in the defensive effort, limiting UNC's All-American Kara Cannizzaro to one goal after she entered the game with 10 on the season. Meg Markham, Taylor Foussadier and Leah McBride were also active for the Quakers on defense.
Poplawski leads a struggling Penn offense with three goals and four points this season. Freshman Iris Williamson is second on the team with three goals, including two last weekend against North Carolina. Another rookie, Catherine Dickinson is tied with Williamson via her two goals and an assist. Six different players have at least one goal for Penn through two games.
The all-time series between the Quakers and Scarlet Knights sits at 8-5 in favor of Rutgers, but the Red and Blue have won the last three meetings dating back to 2005. Under Karin Corbett, the series is split, 4-4.
Rutgers is 3-1 to start the season and winner of its last two games. On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights defeated Monmouth, 11-8. The Scarlet Knights broke a scored three in a row early in the second half to negate a 5-4 deficit, led by Megan Clements and Amanda Trendell who each had four goals in the win. Katrina Martinelli leads the team with 10 goals and 14 points through four games, while2012 All-Region selection Stephanie Anderson has seven goals. All-Region goalkeeper Lily Kalata has a paltry 6.29 GAA and has made 24 saves for a save percentage of .522 through her four starts.