Women's Soccer Hosts Columbia in Key Ivy Match Saturday

PHILADELPHIA – WIth two emphatic wins over the last week, the University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team gets back into Ivy League play this Saturday. The Quakers host Ivy League co-leader Columbia on Rhodes at 5 p.m., prior to the men's game with the Lions which will kick off at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Live Video For Saturday - ILDN
Saturday's match will be televised live on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN). This is a pay service, register for the rest of the 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 six of the team’s remaining seven matches!

Support-A-Player: THANK YOU!
The Penn soccer teams will use Saturday's matches to thank those who made a donation to the Penn Soccer Varsity Fund, especially those who have participated in the Support-A-Player campaign. There will be a reception in the Rapaport Family Suite during the course of the evening for those Support-A-Player donors. Once again, thank you!

The Series
The Quakers hold a 13-8-4 lead over the Lions and are 4-0-1 over the last five meetings (including a 0-0 tie last year in New York City). The last time Columbia scored against Penn was 2010; coincidentally, that was also the last time the Lions beat the Red and Blue in Philadelphia (2-1).

Good Rhodes Record
Since that 2010 loss to Columbia, Penn has gone 14-2-4 in Ivy League home matches. The lone losses have come to Harvard, a 3-0 defeat in 2014 and a 1-0 loss earlier this season.

Around the Ivy League
All eight teams are in conference action on Saturday. Cornell (0-2-0) and Harvard (2-0-0) kick the day off at 1 p.m., while Brown (1-1-0) is at Princeton (1-0-1) and Yale (0-1-1) is at Dartmouth (0-2-0) for a pair of 4 p.m. kickoffs. Penn and Columbia will close out the day's action.

About Columbia (5-4-2, 2-0-0 Ivy League)
The Lions are tied atop the Ivy League standings with Harvard, sandwiching shutout wins against Cornell and Brown around a shutout of non-Ivy Wagner. Emma Anderson was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday after scoring the winner in the final minute of the win over the Bears. She leads the Lions in goals (5), assists (3) and points (13). Junior Natalie Ambrose was a second-team All-Ivy pick last year. Natalie Neshat and Madeline Linde have three goals each. In goal, Sophie Whitehouse (1.06 GAA in 592:00) and Allison Spencer (0.44 GAA in 407:39) have played the most minutes.

About Penn (6-2-1, 1-1-0 Ivy League) 
*Through just nine matches, Penn already has more goals (21) than all of last season (19).

*Penn enters the weekend ranked 29th nationally in scoring offense (2.33 GPG) and 27th in scoring defense (0.651 GAG).

*Penn beat Cornell last Friday, 5-0, and followed that up with a 4-0 win at American on Tuesday. Prior to that, the last time the Quakers had back-to-back four-goal games was the start of the 2013 season when they opened with 4-0 win over Saint Peter's and Mount St. Mary's.

*Penn's win at Cornell was the second-largest Ivy League victory in program history, surpassed only by a 6-0 win (also at Cornell) in 2008.

*Penn has scored five goals in two separate matches this year, against Robert Morris and Cornell; the last time the Quakers did that was 2009, when they hit for five against La Salle and Dartmouth.

*Penn enters Saturday's match having given up just two goals -- both of them penalty kicks -- over the last 585:21 of game action, dating back to a 2-1 win over Lafayette on September 9.

*Taking it a step further, Penn hasn't allowed a goal in the run of play in 818:33 of game action, or the 12th minute of the season opener against Maryland. Besides the two PKs (by Harvard and Delaware), Lafayette's goal came via a corner kick and the Terps' final goal came off a free kick.

*Penn is 6-1-1 in its last eight matches; the Quakers' four-match win streak from September 4-16 was the program's longest since 2013, when they had a six-game win streak from October 4-22 (not allowing a goal that entire time).

*Sixteen of Penn's 21 goals this season -- and, in fact, 16 of the last 20 -- have come in the first half. Of those 16, 14 have come in the first 26 minutes of the match.

*On Tuesday at American, Penn led 2-0 after just 2:23 of match action and 3-0 after 6:30; last Friday at Cornell, Penn led 3-0 less than 24 minutes into the match and 4-0 at the half.

*Sophomore Sasha Stephens had two goals on Tuesday at American; she has three goals overall and leads Penn in assists (5) and points (11). Stephens enters the weekend 19th nationally in assists per game (0.56).

*Senior Tahirih Nesmith opened Penn's scoring on Tuesday; it was her fifth collegiate goal, but her first since September 29, 2013 -- her freshman season.

*Penn has had two Ivy League Rookies of the Week, as midfielder Emily Sands won it on September 12 and goalkeeper Kitty Qu earned the honor on September 19.

*Qu, who has played all but 102 minutes in the Penn cage this year -- she has split halves with Kiera Towell and Carrie Crook the last two matches -- has a 0.49 goals-against average and enters the weekend 17th nationally in that category.

*Sands, meanwhile, is second on the team in assists (4) and third in points (8).

*Fellow freshman Emma Loving, who has scored in each of the last two matches, leads Penn in goals (5) and is second in points (10).

*Five freshmen have already started at least two matches this season for Penn -- Loving, Sands, Qu, Megan Lloyd and Abby Reed

*Senior Olivia Blaber opened Penn's scoring account last Friday, just 7:12 into the match, and later added an assist. She has seven points this season (3g/1a).

*Junior Erica Higa scored with just 18 seconds left in the first half at Cornell, her second goal this season, while sophomore Cameo Hazlewood netted her first collegiate goal during the second half.

*Penn's other goal scorer last Friday was sophomore Allie Trzaska, who received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition last year as a freshman; she also had an assist on Tuesday.

*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 25 matches in the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era, Penn has outshot its opponent 21 times.

*Senior Paige Lombard has two goals this season, and also 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), 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: 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.