PHILADELPHIA - Coming off its best offensive performance in five years, the Penn women’s soccer team faces a daunting task this weekend, heading to the northern-most Ivy League school, Dartmouth, to square off with a Big Green squad atop the table in the Ivy standings.
The Series: Dartmouth leads the series, 10-6-1, and has won two of the last three matches between the teams. Last year in Philadelphia, the Big Green took a 1-0 decision. Penn’s last win over Dartmouth came in 2002, in Hanover.
If Penn Wins: The Quakers will match their overall victory total from a year ago (8) and improve to 2-2-0 in the Ivy League.
Scouting the Quakers: Penn (7-3-1, 1-2-0 Ivy) is coming off a 6-0 whitewashing of Robert Morris Wednesday night, in conditions so bad that the referee stopped the match in the 71st minute. Rachel Fletcher and Jessica Fuccello each scored twice, while Tracy Bienenfeld had three assists and Mara Fintzi had a goal and an assist. Natalie Capuano also scored for the Quakers.
Scouting the Big Green: Think Dartmouth (8-3-1, 3-0-0 Ivy) is hot? The Big Green entered the week ranked third in the NSCAA Northeast Region, and receiving votes in the national poll. Then they knocked off the top-ranked team in their region, No. 10 Boston University, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon. Prior to that, Dartmouth picked up a pair of huge Ivy League wins over Princeton (1-0 on Sept. 30) and Yale (1-0 on Oct. 8). The Big Green has not allowed a goal since Sept. 15, a stretch of seven matches.
Penn’s six-goal performance Wednesday was its best in a match since a 6-4 win over Delaware on Sept. 9, 2001; the margin of victory was the Quakers’ largest since a 6-0 win over Navy on Oct. 24, 1999.
Junior defender Ashley Hull had an assist in Wednesday night’s win for her first collegiate point.
Fuccello, a freshman, has recorded a point in six of Penn’s last eight matches. She leads the team in overall scoring with five goals and four assists for 14 points.
Bienenfeld entered her senior year with eight career points (1 goal, 6 assists) and has matched that already this year, with two goals and four assists.
In goal, head coach Darren Ambrose has been playing a pair of freshmen, Cailly Carroll and Sara Rose. Carroll went the whole way vs. Robert Morris, after the pair split time in last weekend’s Ivy loss to Columbia. Rose has yet to allow a goal in 225 minutes of play, and Carroll’s goals-against average is below one (0.92).