PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's soccer team closes out the 2006 season Saturday afternoon at Princeton. Kickoff between the Quakers and the Tigers will take place at 4 p.m. on Lourie-Love Field.
The Quakers (8-4-3, 1-3-2 Ivy) are looking to surpass their win total from last year with a win, and finish with their best overall record since the 2001 team went 13-2-3.
Princeton, which was a College Cup semifinalist just two years ago, is on a three-match win streak, has held opponents scoreless for more than 300 minutes, and is 7-7-1 overall. The Tigers will suffer a blow this weekend, though, playing without first-team All-Ivy selection and leading scorer Diana Matheson (8g, 5a) -- the junior midfielder is with the Canadian National Team, playing at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. The Canadians were scheduled to play the USA in the final Friday night.
Some other notes about Saturday's match...
Penn and Princeton are meeting for the 16th time since the Quakers became a varsity program in 1991, with the Tigers holding a 9-5-1 lead in the series. Last year, Princeton came to Rhodes Field and escaped with a 3-2 victory; it was the Tigers’ second-straight win the series. Penn’s only win at Princeton came in 1998.
Penn came back with two goals in the final 11 minutes to tie Brown, 2-2, in its last outing which was Sunday. Freshman Jessica Fuccello scored both goals; the first was assisted by senior Tracy Bienenfeld, and the second was assisted by senior Megan Boys and sophomore Molly Weir.
It was appropriate that both Bienenfeld and Boys would get points in last Sunday’s match, since it was the last home match of their collegiate careers.
Fuccello was honored as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and earned a spot on the SoccerBuzz.com Elite Team of the Week after scoring four goals and dishing off an assist last week. In addition to her two-goal performance vs. Brown, she had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over La Salle on Oct. 25.
It marked the second time Fuccello has received both the Ivy League and the SoccerBuzz.com honors.
It was a youth movement at La Salle, as every point recorded by the Quakers came from a freshman or sophomore. Freshman Besides Fuccello, classmate Jess Rothenheber also scored -- off a Fuccello feed -- as did sophomore Weir.
Fuccello now has nine goals and five assists for 23 points. Her goal total is tied for seventh on Penn’s single-season list, and her point total is sixth on the program’s single-season list.
Fuccello also has the best goal total by a Penn freshman since 2001, when Katy Cross had 12 and Rachelle Snyder had 10.
Princeton freshman Vicki Anagnostopoulos preceded Fuccello on the SoccerBuzz National Elite Team of the Week, and was the SoccerTimes National Player of the Week after scoring 10 points in two games. She tied school records with four goals and eight points against Harvard Oct. 21. That followed two assists at American Oct. 17.
Anagnostopoulos is second on the Princeton team in scoring behind Matheson, with six goals and four assists for 16 points. Aarti Jain and Meghan Farrell have three goals apiece.
In the Princeton goal, Maren Dale has played all but five minutes and boasts a 1.12 goals-against average with six shutouts. As mentioned above, she enters Saturday’s match with a goalless streak of 303:13.