PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team closes out the 2015 regular season Saturday afternoon, hosting Princeton at 5 p.m. The match is the first of a Rhodes Field doubleheader, as the Penn and Princeton men will kick off afterward, at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Around The League
All eight teams will close out the season on Saturday. Cornell (2-3-1) and Dartmouth (0-3-3) get the day started in Hanover, with a 1 p.m. kickoff. Harvard (4-1-1) and Columbia (3-2-1) will meet in New York City, while Brown (2-3-1) and Yale (1-5-0) kick off in New Haven; both matches will start at 4 p.m. Penn (1-2-3) and Princeton (6-0-0) close out the regular season with their 5 p.m. kickoff.
Thank You, Seniors!
Saturday marks the final home game for a trio of seniors: Caroline Dwyer, Shannon Hennessy and Erin Mikolai. A fourth senior, Kalijah Terilli, will be honored with her classmates prior to Saturday's match but expects to play again next year after missing her entire freshman campaign due to injury. (A fifth senior, Paige Lombard, missed last year due to injury and also will play next year. She will not be a part of Saturday’s pre-game festivities.) The current four-year seniors have gone 35-16-13 overall, 14-8-5 in Ivy League play during their careers.
The Series with Princeton
The Tigers lead the series, 12-10-2, but the Quakers have won the last two meetings and are 4-1-1 in the last six matchups. This game has provided goals in recent years -- Penn’s wins each of the last two years were 3-2, while three years ago Princeton won 4-2 in New Jersey. Penn has not lost at home to Princeton since 2005.
The Tigers (13-3-0) have already clinched the Ivy League title, with an insurmountable 18 points through six matches. Overall, Princeton has won 11 matches in a row and is ranked 24th in this week's NSCAA national poll. Last year’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, Tyler Lussi, leads the Ivy League in goals (13) and points (31). Freshman Mimi Asom has 10 goals and 24 points, while sophomore Natalie Larkin -- a second-team All-Ivy pick last year -- has scored five goals. Hannah Winner has started every match in goal, and boasts a 1.15 goals-against average and .706 save percentage.
*Penn (6-4-5) has gone 13-1-2 over its last 16 Ivy League matches on Rhodes Field, dating back to the 2010 season.
*Penn has outshot 13 of its 15 opponents this season; in their last six matches, the Quakers have outshot their opponents by a combined 99-37.
*Penn has shut out six opponents this season, and only two of its 15 opponents have scored more than one goal -- Clemson, currently ranked sixth in the NSCAA national poll, and two-time defending Ivy League champion Harvard scored twice each. (Both of those matches were on the road.)
*In its loss at Brown last Saturday, the only goal Penn allowed came on a penalty kick.
*As a team, Penn is 32nd nationally out of 327 NCAA Division I programs in goals-against average (0.68).
*Penn has set a program record for ties in a season, with five. (All of them have come in the last 10 matches.) The previous record of four was set two years ago, when the Quakers went 12-1-4.
*Penn scored five goals in its final non-conference match, a 5-0 win over American on October 13. It marked the most goals by the Quakers in a game since an 8-0 win over NJIT almost exactly four years ago (Oct. 12, 2011).
*Penn returned just four players who scored last season to this year’s roster. Two of them have scored so far this season -- juniors Lindsey Sawczuk (vs. American) and Olivia Blaber (Dartmouth) -- and 10 other players have also scored.
*Of those 10 other players who have scored, it was the first tally at Penn for eight of them. The only two whose goals weren’t their first were senior co-captain Erin Mikolai (Mount St. Mary’s) and classmate Shannon Hennessy (VCU). Of course, in Hennessy’s case it was her second collegiate goal -- the first came her sophomore year, in 2013.
*A caveat to the previous note is Paige Lombard; the senior co-captain scored in consecutive games, against Mount St. Mary’s and at Clemson, and opened the scoring against American. They were her first goals at Penn, but she now has five as a collegian -- she also scored twice at the University of Miami.
*Freshman Allie Trzaska and senior Caroline Dwyer scored Penn’s goals in its 2-1 win vs. Yale. It was the first collegiate tally for Dwyer, the 2013 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a third-team All-America that season. Trzaska’s goal was her second this season.
*Senior goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli saw her first action since being injured against Clemson back on September 11, as she came on in relief of Carrie Crook at halftime of the Yale match. Terilli then started and went the distance last Saturday at Brown.
*Terilli -- a third-team NSCAA All-Region pick each of the last two years and first-team All-Ivy in 2013 -- owns 12 career solo shutouts, which is one shy of the program record held by Vanessa Scotto. Terilli’s career goals-against average is 0.80, second behind Sarah Banks (0.75 from 2010-12).
*After Terilli’s injury at Clemson, Crook was left to pick up the pieces -- which she did, posting shutouts in five of her first 10 collegiate starts after allowing just two goals (one on a PK) against the ranked Tigers.
*In her first career Ivy League start, Crook made a career-high nine saves against two-time defending champion Harvard; she has conceded just the late goal to Dartmouth in Ivy play since then.
*Freshman Sasha Stephens had two goals and an assist vs. American; it was her second two-goal game this season, the other coming in the season opener. That Monday, she was named co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week, her second weekly honor this season.
*Sophomore transfer Lauren Petite also scored against American, her first goal since the season opener.
*Freshman Maddie Dawkins’ first collegiate goal was the difference in Penn’s 1-0 win at USC Upstate, a match in which the Quakers outshot the Spartans 18-1.
*Sophomore Farah Otero-Amad had a goal and an assist in Penn’s win over Mount St. Mary’s, her first collegiate points.
*Sophomore Natasha Davenport and freshman Allie Trzaska -- who made her first collegiate start -- had the goals in the Quakers’ 2-1 win against previously unbeaten Temple.
*Penn opened its 2015 season -- and the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era -- with a 3-1 win over Seton Hall on August 30. It marked the fifth-straight year the Quakers have won their opener, and the sixth time in seven years.
*Stephens scored twice in her collegiate debut, notching Penn’s second and third goals. That Monday, she was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
*Petite also scored in her collegiate debut; she was on TCU’s roster last year but did not see any match action. Petite’s goal came less than four minutes into the contest.*Dwyer was one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award this year. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, this national award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletes to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
*In the midfield, Mikolai is a two-time All-Ivy honoree, including first-team honors as a sophomore, and was a third-team NSCAA All-Region selection last year after she led the Quakers in assists (6).
*Junior Tahirih Nesmith was shut down early last season due to injury, after just two matches. As a freshman in 2013, though, she received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition after finishing second on the team with nine points (4g, 1a) and serving on a defense that posted 12 shutouts and allowed just eight goals all season.