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PHILADELPHIA – Penn looks to claim outright ownership of its seventh consecutive Ivy League championship as it closes out the Ancient Eight portion of the 2013 season at Brown on Saturday (12 p.m.)
With its 10-9 win in overtime over Princeton on Wednesday, Penn secured at least a share of the Ivy title and enters the weekend with a 6-0 record in Ivy games. A win on Saturday would give Penn outright Ivy titles in six of the last seven seasons and would tie Dartmouth and Princeton for second-most outright Ivy titles.
Penn has won eight of its last nine games, the only blemish a loss to No. 1 Maryland. The Red and Blue are 4-0 in one-goal games over that span, including a 3-0 record in games decided in overtime.
While the Quakers have clinched an Ivy title and the top seed for the Ivy League Tournament starting May 3, Brown’s postseason future is very much up in the air.
The Bears are 9-4 overall and 2-3 inside the Ivy League, entering the weekend in fifth place. The Bears need some help via a Cornell loss and to sweep its final two games to qualify for the Ivy League Tournament for the first time. Brown had a chance to control its own destiny, but a 9-7 loss at Cornell last weekend took its fate out of its hands.
The Ivy League’s two stingiest defenses will meet on Saturday, Brown leading the league by allowing 8.8 goals-per-game. The Quakers are right behind, allowing 9.0 goals-per-game. Brown goalkeeper Kellie Roddy (8.25) and Penn’s Lucy Ferguson (8.77) are setting goals-against standard in the Ancient Eight closing in on the conclusion of the regular season.
Caroline Bunting has been on a tear of late for the Quakers, scoring 10 goals over her last three games. On Wednesday, she tied her career-high and set a season-best with four goals against Princeton. On Saturday, she will meet her younger sister, Abby, for the second time as collegians. Abby is second on Brown 28 goals after scoring just six last season. Neither Bunting had a point in Penn’s 15-6 win over the Bears last season. Bre Hudgins leads Brown in scoring with 32 goals and 10 assists, ranking fourth in the Ancient Eight in goals scored. Shannon Mangini has been another key player for the Quakers on offense, scoring 14 goals over the last six games. She scored three on Wednesday night, including the game-winner in overtime.
The Quakers are 25-9 against Brown all-time and have won nine in a row. Penn’s last loss to Brown came in Providence on April 26, 2003 via a 10-8 score.