PHILADELPHIAThe University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s soccer teams hit the road this weekend to take on Ivy League foe Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. The women’s team (4-2-1, 0-1 Ivy) will open action Saturday with a 1 p.m. start. The men (5-2, 1-0 Ivy) are slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
After getting off to a 4-0-1 start, the Penn women enter Saturday’s match looking to end a two-match slide. In those two losses, Penn outshot its opponents (Temple and Harvard) by a combined 38-15.
Cornell (1-6-1) is also down, having lost six in a row since starting the season 1-0-1. On Wednesday, the Big Red fell to Colgate, 2-1.
Penn owns an 8-6-1 advantage in the series with Cornell, thanks to wins each of the last five years (including the last two by shutout). Last year, the Quakers downed the Big Red, 2-0, on Rhodes Field thanks to a pair of goals from now-graduated Carolyn Cross.
Freshman forward Jessica Fuccello was named to the Ivy League honor roll this week after scoring her third goal in four matches last Sunday vs. Harvard.
Molly Weir has established herself as an offensive weapon in recent games, coming up with five shots in both of Penn’s last two matches.
On the men’s side, Penn is currently ranked eighth in the Northeast Region in the most recent NSCAA poll and has won four of its last five contests.
Sophomore Mike Klein has been on a hot streak, with back-to-back Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Week Honors and 11 points through seven games. Klein scored the match-winner and assisted on the insurance goal against Harvard to give the Quakers an early boost in the Ivy League race.
Senior goalkeeper Daniel Cepero boasts three shutouts this season while the Penn defense had held its opponents to a league-leading nine shots allowed. Senior defender Andy Howard has also pitched in on offense with two goals this season.
Last season, Cornell (1-3-3) spoiled Penn’s first-ever night game at Rhodes Field by upsetting the host 2-1. In the last four meetings in this series, the visiting team has won.
The Big Red played to a scoreless draw with Columbia last weekend and a 1-1 tie against No. 19 Boston University. The team is led by sophomore Dana Flanders with three points.