PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women’s soccer team will try to end a trend this weekend. After going 1-1 each of the first two weekends this season, the Quakers hit the road to face Richmond and Georgetown this Friday and Sunday. The Quakers will kick off with the Spiders Friday night at 7 p.m. at First Market Stadium, and follow that up with a trip to Washington, D.C. to face the Hoyas Sunday at 3 p.m. on Kehoe Field.
The goal for Penn, of course, is two wins. That will not come easy, as the Quakers face a pair of teams who have combined to allow just five goals in 13 matches, with eight shutouts (four each) and five one-goal performances. Penn figures to test those defenses, though, after scoring five goals last weekend and nine through four matches.
Last weekend, the Quakers ran out of gas Friday night against city foe Villanova, giving up a two-goal lead in the final 30 minutes and taking a 3-2 loss to the still-unbeaten Wildcats. Penn took no such chances Sunday, scoring three goals early in beating up East Carolina, 3-1.
Notes on Penn...
The Quakers (2-2-0) played 22 women in Sunday’s match against East Carolina.
Molly Weir, Sarah Friedman and Michelle Drugan received all-tournament honors last weekend at the Penn Invitational. Friedman had a goal and three assists on the weekend, while Weir scored a goal and had two assists in the win over ECU.
Weir has a tendency to blow up in certain games -- as a sophomore, she registered a hat trick with all three of Penn’s goals against Lafayette, and a year later she scored six points (2g, 2a) against Saint Joseph’s.
Through four matches this year, Friedman has six assists and team-high eight points. She has figured in seven of Penn’s nine goals this season.
Just four matches into her sophomore season, Friedman has 11 assists which already ties her for ninth on Penn’s all-time list. (one of the people she is tied with is teammate Jess Rothenheber)
Friedman leads the Ivy League in assists per game (1.50) and tied for first in points per game (2.00) with Yale's Becky Brown and Dartmouth's Alexis Euwema.
Senior Natalie Capuano scored her third goal of the season against Villanova; that allowed her to match her goal total from all of last year.
Capuano is second among Ivy League players in goals per game (0.75) and fourth in points per game (1.50).
Freshman Ursula Lopez-Palm scored against East Carolina, her second collegiate tally in only four matches.
Sophomore Kristin Kaiser scored her first goal of the season against East Carolina.
Junior Sara Rose played 270 minutes in the cage last weekend, before giving way to freshman Caroline Williams for the second half of the East Carolina match. Junior Cailly Carroll continues to be nagged by injuries.
About Richmond: Penn’s Friday opponent brings a 5-1-1 record to the table, most recently defeating UMBC on Sept. 12 (2-0) and American on Sept. 16 (1-0). Richmond has allowed just six goals all year, and one in its last three matches. Four different players have scored twice for Richmond, and one of them -- Sarah Hilt -- also has four assists. In goal, Andrea Young has started six matches, and has a 0.96 goals-against average with 14 saves.
The Penn-Richmond Series: The series is tied, 1-1. The Spiders won the first match in this series, 4-0, during a tournament at James Madison in 2002. The Quakers drew level in 2006 on Rhodes Field, when Tracy Bienenfeld scored in overtime to give Penn a 2-1 win.
About Georgetown: The Hoyas enter the weekend with a 5-0-1 mark, and are scheduled to get into Big East play with Villanova Friday night. Georgetown has allowed just two goals, and shut out four of its six opponents. Most recently, Georgetown beat Towson last Friday, 3-0. Toni Hudson leads the Hoyas in scoring, with five goals and three assists for 13 points. Samantha Baker has four goals, while three other players have scored twice apiece. In goal, Jackie DesJardin has played most of the minutes; she has a 0.38 goals-against average with 16 saves.
The Penn-Georgetown Series: This will be the first meeting between the Quakers and the Hoyas. Sunday’s match represents Penn’s third match this season against a Big East opponent.
Quoting Head Coach Darren Ambrose
“This is a big weekend for us. Both of these teams are having good years, and we are on the road. But when you schedule matches you look at the type of team you think you’re going to have and you schedule accordingly. We think we have a team that can make this trip a successful one.”
“This weekend gives us a chance to maybe take the sting out of some of our earlier losses. However, ultimately we are treating these matches as a chance to assess where we are as we near Ivy play. That is what the first 6-8 matches are about each year, using them as a platfrom to be ready for Ivy League play.”
“These are two stingy defenses, but I think we’ll be able to create chances with the offensive players we have. We just need to finish those chances.”