PHILADELPHIA -The Penn women's soccer team has finished with non-conference play; from now on, it's all Ivy League all the time. That starts this Sunday, when the Quakers host Dartmouth at a time and site still to be determined (ideally Rhodes Field). The match will be the first half of a women's/men's doubleheader against the Big Green, the first of three Ivy doubleheaders Penn will host in the next four weeks.
Penn (7-3-2, 1-2-0) jump-started its offense with a 3-0 blanking of Binghamton Wednesday, which allowed the Quakers to improve to 6-0-1 at Rhodes Field this season. Penn outshot the Bearcats, 17-6, and got a goal and two assists from senior Jess Rothenheber who seems to be rounding into form at the right time.
Also In the League: Saturday is chock full of Ivy League action as the season enters its fourth weekend. The day begins with Brown (1-2) at Harvard (2-0) at 11 a.m., followed by Columbia (2-1) at Princeton (1-2) for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Cornell (0-3) and Yale (2-0) begin at 4 p.m. in New Haven, Conn. (A reminder that Harvard and Yale are slated to make up their postponed match from earlier this season on October 20)
The Series with Dartmouth: The Quakers and the Big Green have met 19 times, with Dartmouth holding a 13-5-1 lead -- an advantage enhanced by the fact that Dartmouth won the first six meetings in the series. Last year, the Big Green gained a 2-0 win in Hanover, N.H. Penn is 4-6 in Philly against the Big Green, including a 2-1 win two years ago.
About Dartmouth: The Big Green (6-5-0, 2-1-0) enters the weekend with a 2-1 Ivy record after losing last weekend to Yale, 2-0. Prior to that, they defeated Brown and Princeton. Dartmouth is led offensively by Aly O'Dea (5g, 1a) and Kelsey Quick (2g, 2a), an honorable mention All-Ivy pick a year ago. Myra Sack (1g, 2a) was a first-team All-Ivy selection in 2008, while Ali Hubbard also received honorable mention. In goal, expect to see Colleen Hogan (1.07 GAA, 32 saves in 929 minutes).
*Penn entered the week leading the Ivy League in goals per game (2.18), second behind Yale in points per game (5.91), and tied for third with Harvard in assists per game (1.55) behind Yale and Columbia.
*Senior Jessica Fuccello, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Week honoree, entered the week leading the Ivy League in goals per game (1.09) and second to Yale's Becky Brown in points per game (2.18); she also has a league-high four game-winning goals.
*Despite playing essentially two seasons prior to 2009 -- she played just two matches in her junior campaign due to injury -- Fuccello now has 33 career goals, which is second on Penn's all-time list behind Katy Cross who scored 50 goals from 2001-04.
*Fuccello also has 75 career points after her goal on Wednesday, which is second on Penn's all-time list. Cross is the all-time leader there, too, with 125 career points.
*Fuccello -- who has scored in six of Penn's last seven matches -- has 13 goals this season which is third on Penn's single-season list; Katy Cross scored 16 in 2003 and 14 in 2002.
*Senior Jess Rothenheber broke out in Wednesday's win over Binghamton, with a brilliant goal and two assists.
*A two-time second-team All-Ivy selection, Rothenheber has three assists in Penn's last two games and 15 for her career which is tied for seventh on Penn's all-time list.
*Junior Sarah Friedman had a goal at Columbia last weekend, then an assist in Wednesday's win over Binghamton. Sophomore Ursula Lopez-Palm reversed her, with an assist Saturday and a goal Wednesday.
*Friedman -- a first-team All-Ivy pick a year ago -- now has 21 career assists, which is one shy of Kellianne Toland (1997-2000) for second on Penn's all-time list. Katy Cross holds the all-time record with 25.
*Senior Michelle Drugan is tied for fifth among Ivy players in assists per game (0.36), tied for seventh with teammate Marin McDermott in points per game (0.91), and ninth in goals per game (0.27).
*Drugan has 10 points this season, with three goals and four assists. The senior entered this year with just four points for her college career (1g, 2a).
*In addition to being tied with Drugan on the points list, McDermott entered the week tied for fourth in the Ivy League in goals per game (0.45).
*Sophomore Theresa Yankovich is tied for eighth in assists per game (0.33).
*Junior Gina Winters got the start in goal Wednesday night, the first time someone other than Caroline Williams has seen game action between the pipes for Penn this season. (Williams played the second half; neither made a save in sharing the shutout)
*Williams now sports a 1.42 goals-against average with 46 saves and 3.5 shutouts; she entered the weekend third among Ivy League goalkeepers in saves per game (4.18) and third with three shutouts.
Quoting Head Coach Darren Ambrose
"We've had a great year so far, but maybe we have lost a few in which we could have done a little better. However, we have done well at home, and obviously we hope to keep that going this weekend."
"Dartmouth will be a good team, we know that. We have been playing well of late, and we really got better as the match went on Wednesday night against Binghamton."
"There has been more of an intensity at practice since the Columbia game last weekend, the players have been pushing each other a little more and there has been a little more bite at the sessions."
"It is crucial for us to win if we want to stay in the Ivy League race, our players know that if they win out they can still possibly achieve some things. But mostly we have been preaching to them to worry about the things they can control -- play good soccer, and try to get results. If we control the things we can control, we should be successful."