PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer program has announced its 2009 schedule. The Quakers will play a 16-game slate that features 11 home matches, and does not have them leaving the city limits until they go into Ivy League play in the season’s fourth weekend.
“We have some great games early in the season against teams that will really test us,” said head coach Darren Ambrose, who enters his 10th season at Penn. “There are some very strong conferences represented on our schedule including the Big East, Big Ten and the CAA.
“We have an opportunity to avenge a loss or two from previous years, and many of these non-conference games are on our home field where we feel we have played well over the past several years,” he continued. “We expect to have a good run of games that will lead us into a very competitive Ivy schedule, and we are looking forward to making a run in the race for the League title again.”
Penn opens the 2009 campaign with four home matches, beginning Labor Day weekend when the Quakers host George Mason (Friday, Sept. 4) and city rival La Salle (Sunday, Sept. 6). The following weekend, Northwestern and Pitt come to Rhodes Field, and then the weekend after that Penn travels within city limits to face Saint Joseph’s before hosting Georgetown two days later.
(Both the Sept. 4 and Sept. 20 matches will be part of a soccer doubleheader at Rhodes Field. On Sept. 4, the Quaker men will kick off with Seton Hall at 5 p.m. followed by the women, and on Sept. 20 the women will kick off at noon to be followed by the men’s Penn Soccer Classic, which begins with Penn and Navy at 2:30 p.m.)
Penn makes its first substantive road trip with the kickoff of the Ivy League season, traveling to defending co-champion Harvard on Saturday, Sept. 26. Three days later, the Quakers are at UMBC for a non-conference tilt, and then that weekend brings New York state foes Cornell and Army to Rhodes Field.
Penn is at Columbia on Saturday, Oct. 10, and then four days later the Quakers close out the non-Ivy League portion of the schedule with a midweek night game against Binghamton. The regular season ends with four Ivy League matches, three of them at home (Dartmouth, Yale, defending co-champion Princeton) and one on the road (Brown). The Dartmouth, Yale and Princeton matches will all start at 5 p.m. and be the first of a Rhodes Field doubleheader, as the men take on their Ivy counterpart afterward.
After winning the 2007 Ivy League championship, Penn went 8-6-3 in 2008 (2-3-2 Ivy League) and returns 15 letterwinners from that squad, including five who have previously received All-Ivy recognition. Seniors Michelle Drugan, Jessica Fuccello and Allyson Gordon will be this year’s captains.
PENN WOMEN’S SOCCER
Friday, Sept. 4 - George Mason, 7.30 p.m. (#)
Sunday, Sept. 6 - La Salle, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 - Northwestern, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 13 - Pitt, 1 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 - at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20 - Georgetown, Noon (#)
Saturday, Sept. 26 - at Harvard*, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29 - at UMBC, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 - Cornell*, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4 - Army, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10 - at Columbia*, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 14 - Binghamton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17 - Dartmouth*, 5 p.m. (#)
Saturday, Oct. 24 - Yale*, 5 p.m. (#)
Saturday, Oct. 31 - at Brown*,3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7 - Princeton*, 5 p.m. (#)
*Ivy League match
(#) Doubleheader with Penn men’s soccer
Home games played at Rhodes Field