PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team closes out its 2016 season on Saturday, traveling to archrival Princeton to take on the Tigers in a match that will kick off at 7 p.m.
Live Video For Saturday - ILDN
Saturday's match at the Tigers' Myslik Field will be televised live on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN). This is a pay service, register for the match here!
Around the Ivy League
All eyes will be on the 1 p.m. match between Harvard (4-0-2) and Columbia (4-1-1) in Cambridge; the Crimson have 14 points, the Lions 13, so a win or tie gives Harvard the title but a Lions win gives them the crown. Dartmouth (0-4-2) and Cornell (1-4-1) meet at 2:30 in Ithaca, while Yale (2-3-1) and Brown (3-1-2) kick off at 3:30 p.m. in Providence.
The Princeton Series
The Tigers lead this series, 12-10-3, but Penn is 2-0-1 over the last three meetings. That include a 0-0 tie last year in Philadelphia, the only blemish on Princeton's schedule during their Ivy title run. Two years ago Penn won at Princeton for the first time since 1998, taking a 3-2 decision. The winning team has scored at least three goals in each of the last five matchups.
About Princeton (10-4-2, 2-3-1)
The defending champion Tigers struggled to defend their crown this year. They boast the two-time Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in Tyler Lussi (10g/4a), and last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year in Mimi Asom (9g/1a). Vanessa Gregoire, Abby Givens and Tomi Kennedy all have three goals each. Natalie Larkin (1g/2a) was a first-team All-Ivy pick last year.
Lombard Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Senior defender Paige Lombard was named one of 30 candidates nationwide for the Senior CLASS Award in women’s soccer. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
About Penn (9-3-3, 2-2-2 Ivy League)
*Penn enters the weekend ranked 38th nationally in scoring offense (2.0 GPG) and 13th in goals-against average (0.57).
*With one match left in the season, Penn already has 11 more goals (30) than all of last season (19) with 12 different women scoring.
*The last time Penn had at least 30 goals in a season was 2011, when the Quakers scored 39.
*Nineteen of Penn's 30 goals have come in the first half. Of those 19, 16 have come in the first 26 minutes of the match and eight have come in the first 10 minutes.
*Penn has scored four or more goals four times this season (5 vs. Robert Morris and Cornell, 4 vs. American and Delaware State); the last time that happened was 2007. The last time Penn had two five-goal games in one season was 2009.
*At the other end of the field, Penn put together an incredible streak of not allowing a goal in the run of play in 1351:14 of game action, from the 12th minute of the season opener against Maryland until the 54th minute of last week's tie with Brown. Between those goals, the Quakers gave up just six goals -- one on a free kick (Maryland), two on corner kicks (Lafayette and Columbia), and three on penalty kicks (Dartmouth, Harvard and Delaware).
*Sophomore Allie Trzaska -- who received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition last year -- had Penn's goal last Saturday against the Bears, her second this season. She also has four assists, which is tied for third on the team, for eight points.
*Senior Olivia Blaber had a goal and an assist at Army West Point last Monday; she is now tied for second on the team in goals (4) and is fourth in points (11).
*Sophomore Cameo Hazlewood had Penn's other goal at Army West Point, her second of the season.
*Freshman Emily Sands scored Penn's goal at Yale two weeks ago; that Monday, she earned her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor of the season.
*Penn has had two Ivy League Rookies of the Week; Sands also won it on September 12, and goalkeeper Kitty Qu earned the honor on September 19.
*Qu, who had a season-high eight saves against Brown last Saturday, has a 0.48 goals-against average and enters the weekend 13th nationally in that category.
*Sands, meanwhile, leads the team in assists (6) and is tied for second in points (12).
*Sophomore Sasha Stephens has four goals overall and leads Penn in points (13). Her five assists are second on the team.
*Freshman Emma Loving leads Penn in goals (6) and is tied with Sands for second in points (12).
*Penn beat Cornell on Sept. 30, 5-0, the second-largest Ivy League victory in program history (surpassed only by a 6-0 win at Cornell in 2008).
*Four freshmen have already started at least nine matches this season for Penn -- Loving (14 starts), Sands (14), Qu (14), Megan Lloyd (9).
*Junior Erica Higa had assists against Delaware State and Yale, giving her six points this season (2g/2a).
*Through 31 matches in the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era, Penn has outshot its opponent 26 times.
*Lombard (3g) anchors a defense that allowed just 11 goals in 16 matches last season and posted seven shutouts. A transfer from the University of Miami, Lombard missed the 2014 season to a knee injury but earned All-ECAC, first-team All-Ivy, and third-team NSCAA All-Region a year ago.
*The defense also returns a trio of women who saw significant time last season in Nesmith (14 appearances last year) and sophomores Romie Boyd (16 starts) and Cami Nwokedi (6 starts, 12 appearances).
*Penn returns seven women who scored a goal last year, including all four who found the back of the net more than once: Stephens (4 goals in 2015), Lombard (3), Trzaska (2), and junior Lauren Petite (2).
*Blaber, Lombard and Darby Mason -- who suffered a season-ending injury in the opener vs. Maryland -- are the captains for the 2016 season.