Penn got to .500 in the League with a 2-1 win over Cornell Friday night, but with three teams still undefeated in conference play Saturday's match at Baker Field takes on added significance.
Also In the League: Four more League matches take place this weekend as the Ivy race continues. The action starts Friday night in New Haven, where Yale (1-0) hosts Dartmouth (2-0). On Saturday, Princeton (0-2) is at Brown (1-1) at 3 p.m., while Harvard (1-0) is at Cornell (0-2) at 4:30 p.m. Penn and Columbia finish the weekend action at 7 p.m. (Yale and Harvard, by the way, did not play last weekend due to inclement weather in New Haven; they are scheduled to make up their match on October 20).
The Series with Columbia: The Quakers and the Lions have had a spirited series, with Penn holding a 9-6-3 advantage. Last year, the teams played to a 1-1 tie in Philadelphia. The last time these teams met in New York City, in 2007, Penn gained a 2-1 win en route to the outright Ivy title (Columbia won the title in 2006). Overall, Penn is 5-3-1 at Columbia.
About Columbia: The Lionsare 4-5-2 after tying Lehigh 1-1 on Monday night; prior to that, theylost a 1-0 decision to Brown in Ivy play on Saturday. Columbia is led by Ashlin Yahr, who has six goals and 13 points, and Sophie Reiser who has four goals and 10 points. Reiser was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2008, while Yahr was a second-team All-Ivy selection as a freshman. Marissa Schultz and Kelly Hostetler have scored twice apiece. Meggie Ford and Ashley Mistel were also second-team All-Ivy picks a year ago.
*Penn entered the week leading the Ivy League in goals per game (2.20) and second behind Yale in points per game (5.90) and assists per game (1.50).
*At the other end, Penn has allowed just one goal in the last three matches, with shutouts against UMBC and Army.
*Marin McDermott earned Ivy League and ECAC Player of the Week honors on Monday after scoring three goals in the wins against UMBC and Cornell. She scored twice against the Retrievers, then had the game-winner in the 2-1 Ivy win over the Big Red.
*McDermott entered the week tied for fourth in the Ivy League in goals per game (0.50) and tied for fifth in points per game (1.00).
*Senior Jessica Fuccello, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Week honoree, entered the weekend leading the Ivy League in goals per game (1.10) and second to Yale's Becky Brown in points per game (2.20); she also has a league-high four game-winning goals.
*Despite playing essentially two seasons prior to 2009 -- she played just two matches in her junior campaign due to injury -- Fuccello now has 31 career goals, which is second on Penn's all-time list behind Katy Cross who scored 50 goals from 2001-04.
*Fuccello also has 71 career points after her goal on day, which is second on Penn's all-time list. Cross is the all-time leader there, too, with 125 career points.
*Fuccello has scored in four of Penn's last five matches.
*Senior Michelle Drugan -- who had a goal and an assist in Penn's 2-1 win over Cornell -- is tied for third among Ivy players in assists per game (0.40), tied for fifth in points per game (1.00), and seventh in goals per game (0.30).
*Drugan has 10 points this season, with three goals and four assists. The senior entered this year with just four points for her college career (1g, 2a).
*Sophomore Theresa Yankovich, who missed both games over the weekend, is tied for fifth among Ivy players in assists per game (0.38) while freshman Alex Dayneka is tied for ninth in that category (0.30).
*Sophomore Caroline Williams has played every minute in goal this season, boasting a 1.23 goals-against average with 44 saves and three shutouts.
*Williams entered the week fourth among Ivy League goalkeepers in saves per game (4.40).
Quoting Head Coach Darren Ambrose
"We know what to expect with Columbia; they are a very direct team, they play high pressure defensively, and they are a spirited, emotional team year in and year out. Our biggest thing will be how we handle their pressure, especially our back line."
"Both teams need this result, our players are aware of its importance and I'm sure theirs are too."
"This will be our fourth game on turf, so hopefully our players are used to it and that will not be a major factor. If you want to win the league, these are the kinds of games you need to win - on the road, on an unfamiliar surface."
"We had a good week last week. Cornell was much improved, but we were able to keep a handle on things down the stretch and get a win. We played very well at UMBC, and then we beat Army despite appearing pretty spent emotionally after Friday's Cornell game. We are finding a way to win, and that will hopefully continue this weekend."