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PHILADELPHIA – No. 10 Penn returns to Franklin Field on Saturday to take on Brown in Ivy League action as part of Senior Day for the Quakers. Before the contest the members of the Class of 2014 will be honored for their careers as they play their final home game at Franklin Field.
The Quakers (7-4, 3-1 Ivy) dropped their first Ivy contest of the season on Wednesday at Princeton, and now trail the Tigers in the battle for first place in the Ancient Eight. Penn does control its own destiny for a piece of an eighth consecutive Ivy League championship, however, and can earn another title with wins in its remaining three games. If Penn is to host the Ivy League Tournament for a fifth straight season, the Quakers will need to win out and Princeton will need to falter in its final League game of the season this weekend with Dartmouth.
Brown (9-4, 2-3 Ivy) needs to win its remaining two games and get some help to qualify for its first Ivy League Tournament. The Bears started the 2014 Ancient Eight season with a pair of wins over Columbia and Princeton, but have lost their last three League games – including games to Harvard and Cornell who are above them in the standings.
The Red and Blue are 26-9 all-time against Brown and have won 10 in a row dating back to the 2004 season. Last year, Penn clinched its seventh consecutive Ivy League championship with a 10-7 win in overtime at Brown. The Quakers scored first just 12 seconds into the game – but that lead was the only one Penn would have until overtime. Shannon Mangini would score with 0:30 remaining in the game to knot proceeding up at 7-7, and the Quakers would score three times in the extra session to pull away for the win. Tory Bensen had three goals for Penn in the game.
Bensen is tied for the team lead in goal scoring with 18 this season, sharing the top spot with Lely DeSimone. Nina Corcoran and Lindsey Smith are tied behind that duo with 13 goals apiece. After connecting for 21 points in her first seven games, Bensen then went without a point in her next two. She has rebounded nicely, though, with four points in her last two games.
Nina Corcoran was held without a point on Wednesday at Princeton – the first time all season she did not register at least one point in a game. She is second overall on the Quakers in points with 24, and leads the team with 11 assists.
Sophomore Catherine Dickinson is coming off a career-best game on Wednesday. She scored her first career hat trick in the game, connecting on all three shots she has taken. Of late, Dickinson has started to assail herself as an option on attack with 11 shots on goal over her last four games after registering just three in her first seven outings.
Lucy Ferguson is the backbone of the Ivy League’s best defense with an 8.07 GAA and a .478 save percentage through 11 starts. Meg Markham and Allie Martin are doing their part as defenders, ranking first and third, respectively, in caused turnovers-per-game in the Ivy League. Martin had two caused turnovers and two ground balls on Wednesday at Princeton.
Brown boasts the leading scorer in the Ivy League in Danielle Mastro. She had eight goals and three assists last week to improve her league-leading point total to 54. Bre Hudgins gives Brown two of the top-six scorers in the League with her 42 points on 36 goals and six assists. Junior Abby Bunting, younger sister of former Penn player Caroline Bunting, had 36 points en route to second-team All-Ivy honors last year. This year, she has missed eight games with injury but returned last week with three goals and two assists over two games.
Goalkeeper Kellie Roddy has all nine wins for the Bears in goal this season – the most in the Ivy League. Her 7.88 goals-against average is also tops among Ivy goalkeepers. Brown is the Ivy League’s top team in terms of draw controls, with 181 this season for an average of 13.9 per game. Grace Healy (66) and Hudgins (29) give Brown two of the top-four draw control winners in the League.
Before the game, Penn will honor the Class of 2014 as part of Senior Day ceremonies. The nine women who entered Penn in the fall of 2010 have been a part of three Ivy League championships and enter the weekend with a career record of 38-23 overall and 22-3 in Ivy League games. Four members of the group of seniors – Tory Bensen, Shannon Mangini, Lydia Miller and Lindsey Smith – have a year of eligibility remaining and are expected to return for the 2015 season. Five seniors will be making their last appearance in a regular season game at Franklin Field on Saturday
Penn’s primary backup goalkeeper the last four years, “Church” has appeared in four games over the course of her career. She has made seven saves in her 70 minutes of action, including three against Maryland this season. Carly will graduate in May from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in environmental studies.
Injuries have limited Kylie to just 10 appearances over her four seasons with the Quakers, including a career-high nine games in 2012. Gauthier started six times that season and finished with three goals, including goals in Ivy games against Yale and Columbia. She will graduate this May from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in economics.
The leader among the five graduating seniors with 53 career games played, Allie Martin has made 40 career starts on defense for the Quakers. Consistently among the team leaders in ground balls, Martin has 46 over her career and 17 this season. This season, she is second on the team, third in the Ivy League and 29th in the country in caused turnovers-per-game. She will graduate in May from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in communication.
Brittany Swanson has appeared in 22 games for the Quakers over her career, making four starts. Her best season came in 2012 when she appeared in 13 games and started three. She tallied three goals that season, including one in Ivy play against Columbia. She would go on to cause two turnovers in a win over Harvard in the Ivy League Tournament. She will graduate this May from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in International Relations.
After missing 2011 with injury, Courtney Tomchik has appeared in 42 games over the past three seasons, making 22 starts. An honorable mention All-Ivy selection in 2012, Tomchik has tallied 40 goals and 13 assists over her career – including 28 during the 2012 campaign. She will graduate this May from Wharton with a degree in Marketing.