PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team is ready to begin its spring practices, with four matches on the horizon as they prepare for the 2013 campaign.
"We really took advantage of using the winter bubble for our functional training," said head coach Darren Ambrose, who will enter his 14th season at the Quakers' helm in 2013. "The women worked really hard and are looking forward to some competitive games this spring."
The Quakers' spring schedule is as follows. All matches will take place on Penn's home pitch, Rhodes Field.
Saturday, March 23 - Alumni Game, noon
Friday, April 12 - Villanova, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 21 - Rutgers, noon
Sunday, April 21 - Temple, 6 p.m.
"Our alumni game has become very competitive in recent years," said Ambrose. "Last year's 2-2 tie is testament to that. A lot of the women that come back and play still have the competitive fire and want to remind our current players that they can still play, too.
"I am excited about our spring games," he continued. "Villanova is always a good team, and we haven't been able to play in the fall in the past year or two. We are stretching ourselves later on by playing NCAA tournament team Rutgers and then a feisty Temple team on the same day. We expect to get a lot out of the games and see some players step into bigger roles than they have had last year."
Penn finished the 2012 season with a 9-6-1 record, and for the third year in a row the Quakers entered their final match with a chance of winning at least a share of the Ivy League title. This year, the women lost to Princeton in that final match, 4-2, and ended up third in the league at 5-2-0. In the last three seasons, Penn has gone a combined 14-4-3 in Ivy play.
Fifteen letterwinners return for this coming fall. The captains for the 2013 season are seniors Brianna Rano, Kerry Scalora and Claire Walker.