PHILADELPHIA - No. 7 Penn takes to the road for its first Ivy League road game of 201 this weekend, heading to Ithaca for a date with Cornell. The Quakers are looking to keep their undefeated start to the 2010 season in league play going while Cornell is looking to snap a three-game losing skid. First draw will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Quakers enter the weekend with a 24-game Ivy League winning streak - the second-longest in Ancient Eight history and fourth-longest in the NCAA record books. 10 of those wins have come on the road, including a 7-6 win in Ithaca in March of 2007. The Quakers trailed 4-2 at halftime but put together a 5-1 run in the second half to pull away for the win. The Quakers had seven different goal scorers in that game and five players with two points.
Last season, Penn was dominant at home in a 14-2 win over the Big Red. The Quakers scored at will in the first half, staking themselves to a 10-0 lead at the break. The lead reached 12 before Cornell got on the board. Ali DeLuca led all scorers with four goals and an assist. Giulia Giordano and Emma Spiro each had two goals. Emily Szelest made two saves in the first half while Emily Leitner had three stops in the second.
The Big Red finished the 2009 season with a 9-7 record (3-4 in Ivy play) and entered 2010 with heightened expectations and a No. 19 national ranking in the preseason poll. The 2010 campaign has not lived up to those expectations so far for Cornell, with the Big Red entering the weekend with a 2-5 record. After a 9-7 win over Columbia, the Big Red stood at 2-2. Since then, Cornell has dropped three in a row by a combined score of 31-18. Last time out, Cornell was defeated by Florida in Gainesville, 10-5. Last weekend in Cambridge, the Big Red fell to Harvard, 10-4.
Jessi Steinberg is the focal point of Cornell's offense with 18 goals, already a career high for the sophomore. Behind Steinberg, Cornell has Shannon McHugh (eight goals), Libby Johnson and Katie Kirk (seven apiece) to help carry the load. All three of those players are also sophomores, giving Cornell a strong young nucleus to rely on. In goal, Cornell is splitting time between Kristen Reese and Kyla Dambach. Both goalies have started three games and each has one win. Dambach has made 27 saves for a save% of .466 in her 201:08 minutes of playing time. Both keepers have similar GAA numbers, with Dambach coming in at 9.25 to Reese's 9.87.
A look at the defensive statistics shows Cornell has played opposing teams even in some areas. Cornell has come up with 67 draw controls - the same as its opponents. The same has transpired when it comes to caused turnovers as well with both Cornell and its opposition causing 56 turnovers. The Big Red has committed 100 turnovers to their opponents' 101. The only area in which Cornell is lacking is ground balls, with 88 to 101 from opposing teams.
The Quakers, on the other hand, are ahead of their opponents in those areas, keeping possession of the ball and prying it away from teams when needed. Penn has caused 76 turnovers to 50 by opponents while collecting 129 ground balls to 105 by opposing squads.
Erin Brennan enters the weekend with a 25-game scoring streak, with 69 points over those 25 contests. That is the 19th-longest streak currently in the NCAA and second-highest by a sophomore. Ali DeLuca enters the game with 164 career points, one behind Lisa Romig for second all-time by a Quaker. DeLuca's 121 goals trail Sherry Marcantonio by eight for the top spot in the annals of Penn women's lacrosse.