PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team concludes the 2014 season on Saturday at Princeton. The Quakers and the Tigers will kick off at 3 p.m.
So Long, Shack!
It figures to be an emotional day at Roberts Stadium; not only will Saturday’s match be Princeton’s Senior Day, but it will also be the last time Julie Shackford will coach the Tigers. Princeton’s head coach for the last 20 years, she announced that this would be her last season prior to the campaign.
Around the Ivy League
Penn and Princeton’s 3:00 kickoff on Saturday will be the last of the Ivy League regular season. Yale (1-1-4) at Brown (1-3-2) will get the final weekend of play started on Friday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Columbia (2-2-2) is at Harvard (4-1-1) at 1:30 p.m., while Dartmouth (3-0-3) and Cornell (1-5-0) kick off in Ithaca, N.Y. at 2:30 p.m.
The Ivy Race
*Harvard (13 points) is in the driver’s seat; beat Columbia, and the Crimson are champions.
*Dartmouth (12 points) will win the title with a win at Cornell, and a Harvard tie or loss to Columbia.
*Princeton (10 points) can win a share of the title if (a) Harvard loses to Columbia AND (b) Dartmouth ties or loses at Cornell.
The Series with Princeton
The Tigers hold a 12-9-2 lead in the series, but Penn holds a 4-2-1 advantage over the last seven meetings including a 3-2 win last year in Philadelphia. That said, the Quakers have not won at Princeton since 1998, going 0-5-2 since then including a 4-2 defeat two years ago.
The Tigers (6-5-3, 3-2-1 Ivy) snapped a two-match Ivy losing streak last weekend with a win over Cornell last Saturday; on Tuesday, Princeton went out of conference to defeat N.C. State, 5-3. Lauren Lazo -- a second-team All-Ivy pick last year -- had two assists against the Wolfpack, giving her a team-high 10 for the season and 26 for her career which is tied for the program record. She also has seven goals. Sophomore Tyler Lussi powers the Tigers' attack, she has 18 goals and entered the week second nationally in goals per game. At the other end, Darcy Hargadon has a 1.49 goals-against average and 37 saves in 13 starts.
*Penn won its most recent game, a 2-0 decision over Brown last Saturday at Rhodes Field. On Senior Night, it was seniors Clara Midgley and Kaitlyn Moore who scored the goals to propel the Quakers to the win.
*The win guaranteed Penn a winning record for the 2014 season; the Quakers are 7-5-1 heading into Saturday’s finale. Penn has never been .500 or below during Darren Ambrose’s 15 years as head coach.
*Some numbers on Penn’s senior class (Midgley, Moore, Haley Cooper, Nikoletta Georgalis, Lauren Hammond, Katherine Myhre): they enter their final match at Penn having gone 42-14-9 overall, 17-7-3 in Ivy League play. Perhaps most impressively, they will graduate with a 12-1-1 record on Rhodes Field against Ivy League competition (the lone loss coming this year again a Harvard team that is looking to clinch its second straight Ivy title on Saturday).
*The Quakers snapped a three-match winless streak on October 28 at Lehigh, scoring two late goals to knock off the Mountain Hawks, 2-0.
*Sophomore defender Olivia Blaber, who made her first collegiate starts in the last two matches, was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll on Monday after scoring the winner at Lehigh -- on a bicycle kick, no less! -- and assisting a goal against Brown. They were her first collegiate points.
*Freshman Anna Estep scored the insurance goal at Lehigh, her second goal this season, and had an assist in the win over Brown.
*Penn has posted two straight shutouts entering the Princeton match, and has seven clean sheets this season.
*Freshman Juliana Provini -- who has a team-high three goals -- was co-Rookie of the Week from both the Ivy League and the ECAC on October 13 after hitting match-winning goals in consecutive victories over Loyola and Columbia.
*Junior Erin Mikolai leads Penn with five assists this season.
*Penn is 23-8-5 in its last 36 Ivy League matches, dating back to the 2009 season.
*Overall, Penn is 45-15-11 over its last 71 matches dating back to the 2010 season. In those 71 matches, Penn has allowed 51 goals and posted 41 shutouts.
*Penn has gone overtime four times this season, winning once and tying the other three to continue an impressive run: the Quakers have not lost a match in overtime dating back to the 2008 season, going 7-0-13 in extra time during that span.
*Both Mikolai and goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli were first-team All-Ivy picks last year as sophomores along with defender Caroline Dwyer, who will miss the rest of this season due to injury.
*Prior to the season, Penn had four players in TopDrawerSoccer’s list of the Ivy League’s top 20 players. Two of those players -- Dwyer (2) and sophomore Tahirih Nesmith (14) -- are out for the year due to early-season injuries. The others were Terilli (5) and Mikolai (20).
*Penn went 12-1-4 last season, setting a program record for fewest losses in a season, and took second place in the Ivy League at 5-1-1, behind only Harvard (7-0-0).
*Penn shut out 12 of its 17 opponents last season, a .706 percentage that was fourth nationally; three years ago, the Quakers led the nation in shutout percentage.
*Penn allowed just eight goals last season, good for a 0.44 goals-against average that was fifth nationally.
*Penn head coach Darren Ambrose is in his 15th season at the helm; he entered the 2014 season 34th among active NCAA Division I coaches in winning percentage (.650) and 39th all-time at the NCAA Division I level.