Women's Soccer Hosts Penn Invitational This Weekend

PHILADELPHIA - Coming off an up-and-down opening weekend, the Penn women's soccer team hosts the PennInvitational this weekend at Rhodes Field. The Quakers will entertain Saint Joseph's, Dayton and Lehigh, with the four teams playing doubleheaders on both Friday and Sunday. (The Penn men's team will also be in action at home those days, making it a tripleheader of college soccer action.)

Penn played attractive soccer in both of its opening matches last weekend, and the result was a split that started badly but ended well. On Friday, the Quakers allowed Towson just one shot through much of the match, but that shot was a beauty and it gave the Tigers a 1-0 victory. On Sunday, Penn came out strong and scored three times in the first half en route to its first-ever win against Villanova, 3-0.

Friday's action will have Dayton and Lehigh kicking off at 3 p.m., followed by Penn and Saint Joseph's renewing their city rivalry at approximately 6 p.m. On Sunday, Penn and Dayton meet at noon, followed by SJU and Lehigh at approximately 2:30. In both cases, the men's match will follow the women's doubleheader.

The Series with SJU: Friday's game will be the fifth between these city foes, and marks the fourth year in a row they have met on the pitch. Penn dominated the first three games in the series, including a 6-0 win in 2007 and a 4-2 victory in 2008. Last year, however, the teams met for the first time on Hawk Hill and the result was a 0-0 draw.

About Saint Joseph's: The Hawks (2-2-0) got off to a slow start with a trip to California, losing twice, but came back home and rebounded with a pair of wins last weekend, 4-1 over Drexel and 3-0 against Lehigh. Jen Pfeiffer is SJU's leading scorer, with five goals, while Mo Hawkins has two goals and three assists. They were co-Player of the Week and co-Rookie of the Week, respectively, in the Atlantic 10.

The Series with Dayton: This will be the first meeting between the Quakers and the Flyers in women's soccer.

About Dayton: The Flyers (4-2-0) went unbeaten through the regular season a year ago, taking the Atlantic 10 regular-season and tournament titles before finally losing in the NCAA second round, 3-1, to Virginia Tech. Overall, Dayton was 16-1-6 with 15 shutouts in 2009. Not surprisingly, the Flyers are picked to win the A-10 again this fall. Sophomore Colleen Williams is the team's leading scorer, with four goals and an assist; after that, Allison Giner and Alexis Garcia are the other goalscorers to date. At the other end, Lisa Rodgers (0.00 GAA in 282 minutes) and Katherine Boone (0.99 GAA in 271 minutes) have basically split time in goal.

About Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks-- who show up on Penn's schedule later this season-- are 1-0-1 heading into the weekend. They began the season with a 1-1 tie at Syracuse, then defeated Quinnipiac last Sunday, 3-2. Liz Carlos scored all three goals in the win, Lehigh's first hat trick since 2004. As a result, she was named the Patriot League's Player of the Week. In goal, Lauren Mains has made 15 saves and allowed just three goals in 200 minutes of action.

About Penn...
*Penn's 3-0 win over Villanova last Sunday was the Quakers first over the Wildcats; prior to the match, Penn was 0-11-1 all-time against Villanova.

*All three players who scored Sunday recorded their first collegiate goal in the process -- freshmen Kathryn Barth and Christina Hart, and sophomore Erin Beck.

*Another freshman, Brianna Rano, recorded her first collegiate point with an assist on the game's first goal.

*Penn played 18 different players Friday against Towson, and 20 in the win over Villanova.

*Junior Caroline Williams played every minute in goal last weekend, recording five saves overall (1 vs. Towson, 4 vs. Villanova).

*The Quakers return seven of 11 starters and 15 letterwinners from a team that went 10-4-2 overall last year. (That record was best among the Ivy League programs in 2009.)

*Penn went 4-3-0 in the Ivy League and tied for third place; the Quakers' last title came in 2007, when the four current seniors -- Kaitlin Campbell, Sarah Friedman, Kristin Kaiser, Marisa Schoen -- were freshmen.

* Friedman, a first-team All-Ivy pick in 2008 and second-team a year ago, needs four assists to become the program's all-time leader. She enters 2010 with 22.

*Junior Marin McDermott is the team's leading returning scorer; she had six goals in 2009. McDermott has earned All-Ivy each year she has been at Penn.

*The defense will be anchored by two of Penn's three captains, Campbell and Schoen. (The other captain is Kaiser.) Campbell -- an honorable mention All-Ivy player in 2009 -- enters 2010 having started 50 of Penn's last 51 games, while Schoen has 42 career starts.

*Among the returning players, only junior Theresa Yankovich joins the captains, McDermott and Friedman as a field player who started more than 10 matches last year. She had 11 starts.