PHILADELPHIA – Winners of three matches in a row, the University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team is home two more times this weekend, hosting Towson on Friday at 7 p.m. and neighborhood rival Drexel Sunday at 5 p.m.
Ivy League Digital Network
Both of this weekend's matches will be televised live on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN). This is a pay service, register for the entire season here! With the ILDN, you will be able to watch all of Penn’s home matches, as well as their Ivy League road contests. That adds up to 10 of the team’s remaining 12 matches!
The Towson Series
The Quakers and Tigers are level through three matches, each holding a win and the third being a draw. That came last year, 1-1, down in Maryland. Penn's win came in 1992, Towson's in 2010.
The Tigers (2-5-1) had a two-match winning streak ended on Sunday when they fell to Drake. The wins came over Temple and Bowling Green. Natalia Pinkney has three goals, while Elizabeth Coletti has two and three others have one each. In goal, Taylor Sebolao has played in seven of the eight matches and has a 1.79 goals-against average.
The Drexel Series
The Quakers have a commanding 9-1-0 lead over the Dragons, Drexel's lone win coming in 2012 (1-0). Penn returned the favor with a 1-0 overtime win a year later on Penn Park. Prior to that, these programs last played in 2004.
The Dragons (4-4-0) have lost three of their last four, most recently to No. 25 Rutgers last Sunday. Vanessa Kara has a team-high seven points (2g/3a), while Madison Dunn and Shaelyn McCarty have scored three times each. At the other end, Christiana Ogunsami has started every match in goal and has a 1.48 GAA.
*Penn has won three in a row, its longest win streak since opening last year with three wins. The Quakers have never trailed in any of the three matches, either.
*The last time Penn won four (or five) matches in a row was 2013, when they had a six-game win streak from October 4-22 (not allowing a goal that entire time).
*Eight of Penn's 10 goals this season -- actually, eight of the last NINE overall -- have come in the first half. Of those eight, seven have come in the first 25 minutes of the match.
*After figuring in three of Penn's four goals last weekend -- scoring one, assisting on two others -- freshman Emily Sands was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday.
*Sands is tied for the team lead in points with six, along with fellow freshman Emma Loving (who has her points via three goals).
*Five freshmen have already started at least one match this season for Penn -- Loving, Sands, Abby Reed, Megan Lloyd and goalkeeper Kitty Qu.
*Penn's loss to Maryland was perhaps unjust; after allowing the Terrapins a pair of goals in the first 12 minutes, Penn ended up outshooting its opponent 12-5 in the match (9-1 in the second half).
*Through 19 matches in the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era, Penn has outshot its opponent 15 times.
*Senior Olivia Blaber has two goals this season, against Maryland and Lafayette. That's a career high, as she had one as a sophomore and one as a junior.
*Senior Paige Lombard is the anchor 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 senior Tahirih Nesmith (14 appearances last year), sophomore Romie Boyd (16 starts), and sophomore 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: sophomore Sasha Stephens (4 goals in 2015), Lombard (3), sophomore Allie Trzaska (2) -- an honorable mention All-Ivy pick last year as a freshman -- and junior Lauren Petite (2).
*Blaber, Lombard and Darby Mason are the captains for the 2016 season.