PHILADELPHIA - It was an up-and-down weekend for the Penn women's soccer team last week, as the Quakers fell in a sopping rain to Northwestern on Friday but rebounded with a scintillating overtime win against a ranked Pitt squad. This weekend, the Quakers continue their Friday-Sunday routine with a city match and then another Big East showdown.
For the first time, Penn will make the trip to City Line Avenue and Saint Joseph's University; that match will take place Friday at 7 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, Georgetown becomes the second Big East team in a week to invade Rhodes Field. Kickoff for that match is noon. (The Penn men will follow with a 2:30 p.m. match against Navy as part of the Penn Soccer Classic)
The Series with Saint Joseph's: The Quakers and Hawks have met three times overall, including each of the last two seasons; Penn has won all three matchups. Last year, the Quakers gained a 4-2 decision at Rhodes Field as Sarah Friedman had a goal and two assists. Ursula Lopez-Palm also scored in that game. This will be the first meeting at Saint Joseph's.
About SJU: The Hawks enter the weekend 2-3-1 overall, and it will have been a week since they last played when they take the field Friday night. In its last match, Saint Joseph's lost to Towson, 2-0. Prior to that, on Sept. 8, the Hawks rode Maggie Lupinski's hat trick to a 5-2 win over Saint Peter's. Lupinski has five of SJU's eight goals this season, while Lauren Sawyer, Ali Yozwiak and Emily Knesevitch have one each. In goal, Kat Keible has started twice and boasts a 1.00 goals-against average; Christine Neal has played in four matches and has a 1.42 GAA.
The Series with Georgetown: The Quakers and Hoyas met for the first time last year, and the result was a 2-2 draw in Washington, D.C. Marin McDermott and Sarah Friedman scored Penn's goals in that match.
About Georgetown: The Hoyas enter the weekend with a 6-1-0 record, and were receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll. They face Villanova on Friday before meeting the Quakers on Sunday. Georgetown's only loss came in overtime, 2-1, to No. 12 Santa Clara. Ingrid Wells leads GU with four goals and seven assists for 15 points, while Camille Trujillo has five goals and two assists for 12 points. Sara Jordan has scored three times, and four other players have two goals apiece. At the other end, Jackie Desjardins has started six matches and boasts a miniscule 0.36 GAA.
*Junior Kristin Kaiser, who tied for the team high with five goals a year ago, scored her first goal of 2009 in Friday's loss to Northwestern. Coincidentally, she scored Penn's only goal at Northwestern two years ago, making her the only Penn player in history to score on the Wildcats.
*Sophomore Marin McDermott's match-winner against Pitt was her first OT goal as a collegian, and gave Penn its first overtime win since Nov. 3, 2007 (a 1-0 OT win against Princeton). Penn went 0-3-3 in overtime contests a year ago.
*Junior defender Kaitlin Campbell scored her second collegiate goal in Sunday's win over Pitt.
*Sophomore Caroline Williams has played every minute of every match in goal so far; she has a 1.46 goals-against average and has made 14 saves.
*Jessica Fuccello scored five goals over the first weekend, including four in the win over La Salle which tied a school mark. The record was originally set in 2001 by Rachelle Snyder (against Delaware), and matched in 2003 by Katy Cross (vs. Lehigh).
*Fuccello did not score last weekend and remains with 25 goals in her career, tied for third all-time at Penn with Darah Ross (1994-97).
*With 59 career points, Fuccello is tied for fourth all-time with Jill Callaghan (1996-99). Fuccello needs two points -- either one goal or two assists -- to move into third alone, ahead of Callaghan and Kellianne Toland (1997-2000).
*Fuccello entered the week second in the Ivy League with five goals (behind Becky Brown of Yale, 6) and 10 points (behind Brown, 13).
*Michelle Drugan scored twice over the season's first weekend; the senior entered the season with one collegiate goal; she is fifth in the Ivy League with five points overall.
*Sophomore Theresa Yankovich is second in the Ivy League in assists, with three (behind Kristen Forster of Yale, 4).
*In her second collegiate match, freshman Alex Dayneka had two assists.
*Penn returns 23 of its 33 goals, nine of its 12 goalscorers, four double-digit point markers, and three of its four top point scorers from last season.
*Taking it back a year further, the Quakers still have seven players who started at least 12 matches in 2007. That year, Penn went 13-4-1 and won the Ivy League title with a 6-1-0 mark.
*Penn returns a pair of All-Ivy players from a year ago, junior first-teamer Sarah Friedman and McDermott (honorable mention).
*Friedman returns after a 2008 season in which she shattered the program record for assists (15); with 20 for her career, the junior only needs six to become the program's all-time leader.
*McDermott scored 10 points in her freshman campaign (3g, 4a) and tied for the team lead with three assists and five points in Ivy League play; in addition to her OT winner vs. Pitt, she had a goal in Penn's season-opening win over George Mason.
*Penn is bolstered by the return of two other senior All-Ivy players; Fuccello was a first-team honoree in 2007, but missed last year to injury, while two-time second-teamer Jess Rothenheber looks for a healthy 2009 after seeing abbreviated action in 2008 due to injury.
*Rothenheber had nine assists in 2007, tied for third on the program's single-season chart; with 12 in her career, she is tied for 10th all-time with Andrea Callaghan (1996-99).
*Kaiser tied for the team lead with five goals last season, and added two assists for 12 points which was third on the team.
*In her freshman campaign, Ursula Lopez-Palm had four goals and three assists for 11 points.
Quoting Head Coach Darren Ambrose
"Anytime you have a city game, like we do on Friday, you know it will be competitive. Even our game with La Salle was a dogfight, the score notwithstanding. Saint Joseph's is a good team with some good players, and (head coach) Jess Reynolds will have them ready to play. Our players know it is going to be a battle."
"I think Sunday will be a great game, a very entertaining game for fans. Both teams play good soccer and like to knock it around a little bit. This is another chance for us to prove we can play with a top team, and I'm sure the players are excited for the opportunity."
"Gaining the win over Pitt was really important, especially coming off of Friday's loss. This team is good at learning from their mistakes, figuring out what went wrong and going out to fix them. The win was also good for us confidence-wise."
"It's our last weekend before Ivy League play, but so far we've been more about learning from the previous weekend and working to fix it for the upcoming weekend. That will continue for this weekend, and then when Sunday afternoon rolls around we'll start talking about Harvard and Ivy League play. Right now the biggest thing, when looking at this weekend in relation to next weekend, is that everyone comes out healthy."