PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team is ready to kick off the 2016 season on Sunday, when the Quakers host the University of Maryland at 5 p.m. on Rhodes Field.
Ivy League Digital Network
Sunday’s match will be televised live on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN). This is a pay service, so sign up early! With the ILDN, you will be able to watch all of Penn’s home matches, as well as its Ivy League road contests. That adds up to 13 of the team’s 16 matches overall this fall!
This is the third meeting between the Quakers and the Terps, but the first in Philadelphia. Maryland defeated Penn, 2-0, in 1997 and the Red and Blue rebounded with a 2-1 win two years later. Both matches were played in College Park. All-time, Penn has played just six matches against Big Ten opponents, going 1-4-1.
Under first-year head coach Ray Leone -- who came to College Park following an extremely successful nine-year stint as Harvard’s head coach -- the Terps are already 1-1-1 on the season after losing to TCU in overtime, tying Gardner-Webb, and beating William & Mary on Thursday. Jarena Harmon has three goals already this season, while Chelsea Jackson has scored twice. Katelyn Jensen, Rachel Egyed and Stephanie Senn have all started a match and appeared twice in goal.
*Second-year head coach Nicole Van Dyke recently announced Olivia Blaber, Paige Lombard and Darby Mason as captains for the 2016 season.
*Lombard figures to 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 last year earned first-team All-Ivy, All-ECAC, and third-team NSCAA All-Region honors.
*The defense also returns senior Tahirih Nesmith (14 games last year), sophomore Romie Boyd (16 starts last year), and sophomore Cami Nwokedi (6 starts, 12 appearances).
*Penn returns seven women who scored last year, including all four who scored more than once: sophomore Sasha Stephens (4 goals), Lombard (3), sophomore Allie Trzaska (2) -- who received honorable mention All-Ivy last year as a freshman -- and junior Lauren Petite (2).
*Penn’s other goal scorers last year were Blaber, fellow senior Lindsey Sawczuk, and sophomore Maddie Dawkins.
*In goal, senior Carrie Crook started 10 matches last year and made 12 appearances. She finished the campaign with a 0.65 goals-against average and a .806 save percentage.
*Penn must replace three women who earned first-team All-Ivy during their careers before graduating last May: Caroline Dwyer, Erin Mikolai, and goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli.