PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team fell in its Ivy League opener last weekend, dropping a decision at home to defending champion Harvard. The Quakers will look to get a win on their conference ledger on Friday night, traveling to upstate New York to face Cornell at 7 p.m.
Around the Ivy League
The Quakers and Big Red kick off the second full weekend of conference play on Friday night; the six other teams are in action on Saturday. Columbia (1-0-0) and Brown (0-0-1) will get things started at 3:30 p.m. in Providence, followed by Yale (0-1-0) and Harvard (1-0-0) in Cambridge at 4 p.m. Dartmouth (0-0-1) and Princeton (1-0-0) close things out in New Jersey at 7 p.m.
The Series with Cornell
Penn lost its first six matches with the Big Red, from 1991-96; the Quakers finally broke through with a win in 1997, then tied Cornell in 1998. Since then, Penn has won 15 in a row over Cornell. That said, each of the last three matches have been one-goal results, including a 1-0 decision last year at Rhodes Field in Philadelphia.
The Big Red (5-3-0, 0-1-0) opened Ivy play with a 1-0 loss at Columbia last Friday, then followed that up with a 2-1 loss to Wagner on Sunday. Cornell has two players with 10 points already this season, Elizabeth Crowell (4g/2a) and Caroline Growney (3g/4a). Five other players have also scored a goal. Claire MacManus, who was second-team All-Ivy last year, has two assists in the midfield. At the other end, Kelsey Tierney has played a majority of the minutes in goal; she has 17 saves and a 0.90 goals-against average.
*Penn’s loss to Harvard last Saturday marked the Quakers’ first Ivy loss on Rhodes Field since Oct. 8, 2010; they had gone 11-0-1 in their 12 matches since then.
*Penn is 21-6-4 in its last 31 Ivy League matches, dating back to the 2009 season.
*Prior to the Harvard match, Penn had a road weekend in which it shut out both of its opponents, tying VCU 0-0 and then beating Delaware 1-0.
*Senior Kaitlyn Moore -- who missed the Quakers’ first four games this season due to injury -- saw her first action off the bench at VCU, then scored the only goal in the win over the Blue Hens.
*Erin Mikolai, one of Penn’s three first-team All-Ivy players from a year ago still on the team, had the assist on Moore’s goal at Delaware.
*The Quakers’ other goalscorers this season have been underclassmen – sophomores Lindsey Sawczuk and Ana Chevtchenko, and freshmen Anna Estep and Kristen Miller. Sawczuk also has an assist this season, giving her a team-high three points.
*Penn has gone overtime three times this season, winning one and tying the other to continue an impressive run: the Quakers have not lost a match in overtime dating back to the 2008 season, going 7-0-12 in extra time during that span.
*Senior Katherine Myhre and junior Kalijah Terilli have both played at least a half in five of the team’s seven matches; the only exceptions coming when Terilli went the distance against both Harvard and William & Mary.
*Overall, Penn is 42-12-10 over its last 64 matches dating back to the 2010 season. In those 64 matches, Penn has almost as many shutouts (38) as goals allowed (43).
*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.
*Junior defender Caroline Dwyer was a third-team All-America last year, just the second Penn player to be so honored by the NSCAA (Katy Cross was a second-team All-America in 2001).
*That recognition has not gone unnoticed in the preseason, as Dwyer was one of 13 underclass women named to the MAC Hermann Preseason Watch List. The MAC Hermann Trophy is given to the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate players.
*Dwyer also received plenty of preseason recognition from TopDrawerSoccer, including second-team All-America; 21st on its list of the nation’s top 100 players; and second among the Ivy League’s top 20 players.
*Penn returns two other first-team All-Ivy players from last year besides Dwyer; fellow juniors Terilli and Mikolai. They were listed fifth and 20th, respectively, on TopDrawerSoccer’s preseason Ivy Top 20, while sophomore Tahirih Nesmith was listed 14th. (Only Harvard had more players than Penn’s four on the TDS Top 20, with five.)
*Terilli, a goalkeeper, enjoyed a stint in the United States Under-23 camp this summer. She is a junior at Penn, but has sophomore eligibility after missing her entire freshman campaign to injury.
*Chevtchenko, meanwhile, continued her play with the Russian National Team throughout the summer.
*Seniors Moore, Haley Cooper and Clara Midgley are this year’s captains.