Women's Soccer Announces 2007 Schedule

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PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team has announced its 17-match schedule for the 2007 season, featuring nine home matches at Rhodes Field.

“This is probably the toughest schedule since 2004, when we played three top-20 teams in our first six matches,” said Penn’s eighth-year head coach, Darren Ambrose. “When we put together this schedule about 18 months ago, we did it with the knowledge that we would have a team that was in a position to handle it.

“We will be tested frequently in our first six games again, and want to get as much out of those games as we can to prepare for the league,” he continued. “It will be important that we learn as much as we can about ourselves in that first month, and the schedule gives us the chance to do that.”

The Quakers will kick off the 2007 campaign with four home matches, starting Friday, Aug. 31 when Saint Louis comes to Rhodes Field followed two days later by Robert Morris. The following weekend, Penn hosts Big Ten foe Michigan State for the first time in history on Friday night, and then local rival Saint Joseph’s Sunday afternoon.

Penn hits the city of Chicago the weekend of Sept. 15-17, taking on another Big Ten foe -- Northwestern -- Friday afternoon and then meeting Loyola-Chicago on Sunday. As an added bonus, the Sunday match with the Ramblers will take place at the new home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, in Bridgeview, Ill. Both matches will mark Penn’s first meetings with those respective programs.

The following weekend, Penn returns to Philadelphia to play a pair of local foes, hosting La Salle Friday and going to Villanova Sunday afternoon.

The Quakers hit Ivy League play on Friday, Sept. 28, hosting Cornell at 7 p.m.; two days later, they are at Rider.

Penn hits Ivy play in a big way the following weekend, traveling to New York City to play defending Ivy champion Columbia on Saturday, Oct. 6. One week later, Dartmouth comes to Philadelphia, followed the week after that by Yale. The Quakers then step out of conference play briefly, with a midweek match at UMBC -- Penn’s first-ever meeting with the Retrievers -- before finishing the season with road matches at Brown (Oct. 28) and Harvard (Nov. 10) sandwiched around a home match with Princeton (Nov. 3).

In addition to the regular season, Penn will host George Mason in a preseason exhibition on Sunday, August 26.

Penn went 8-5-3 overall in 2006, the 10th straight winning season for the program; the Quakers have never had a losing season under Ambrose. This season, Penn returns four All-Ivy players and seven field players who started at least 10 matches last season -- all of whom were either freshmen or sophomores.