PHILADELPHIA - After beginning the season with three consecutive Friday-Sunday weekends, the Penn women’s soccer team moves to a midweek format Wednesday, hosting UMBC at 5 p.m. on Rhodes Field. The match is the first of two that will be played on Rhodes that evening, as the Quaker men will host Penn State at 7:30 p.m.
Penn (2-3-1) is looking to regain its footing following last weekend’s trip south; the Quakers lost in overtime to Richmond, 1-0, and then surrendered a two-goal lead late in the match and tied Georgetown, 2-2. Adding to the bitterness of those results was the fact that Richmond’s only goal and Georgetown’s second goal both came on penalty kicks.
Following this match, the Quakers enter Ivy League play Saturday night when Harvard comes to Rhodes Field. Penn is the defending Ivy League champion, going 6-1-0 in conference play last year.
Notes on Penn...
The last four teams Penn has played (Villanova, East Carolina, Richmond, Georgetown) are a combined 24-5-3 so far this season, a .797 win percentage.
Sarah Friedman continues to shine for Penn; she has two goals and seven assists this season, and has figured in nine of the Quakers’ 11 goals to date.
Just six matches into her sophomore year, Friedman has 12 career assists which ties her for eighth on Penn’s all-time list (with Andrea Callaghan, 1996-99).
Though not even to the halfway point of the season, Friedman’s seven assists have her tied for fourth place on Penn’s single-season list.
Friedman entered the week leading the Ivy League in assists per game (1.17) and second in points per game (1.83).
Freshman Marin McDermott scored her first collegiate goal Sunday at Georgetown; three newcomers have already scored this season for Penn (McDermott, Theresa Yankovich, Ursula Lopez-Palm).
Freshman Caroline Williams and junior Sara Rose split goalkeeping duties over the weekend, as Williams faced Richmond and Rose faced Georgetown. Junior Cailly Carroll continues to be nagged by injuries.
About UMBC: The Retrievers arrive in Philadelphia with a 1-8-0 record, and have lost four straight. Last weekend, they fell at home to Drexel (3-0) and on the road to Elon (2-0). UMBC -- whose only win came against Sacred Heart -- has been outscored this season, 27-2, with both of its goals coming from Morgan Warrington. In goal, Mo Van Vlerah has five starts and a 3.12 goals-against average while Christine Bacinski has four starts and a 3.00 GAA.
The Series With UMBC: Last year marked the first meeting between these programs, with the Quakers rolling to a 4-0 win in Maryland. Jessica Fuccello, Molly Weir and Mara Fintzi all had a goal and an assist, and Natalie Capuano scored on a penalty kick.
Commonality: These teams have played three common opponents this season: Villanova, Georgetown and Richmond.
Villanova: Penn lost 3-2, UMBC lost 7-0
Georgetown: Penn tied 2-2, UMBC lost 7-0
Richmond: Penn lost 1-0 (2ot), UMBC lost 2-0
Quoting Head Coach Darren Ambrose
“Our first goal Wednesday will be to play a full 90 minutes. We have been progressively getting there, from playing about 50-55 minutes the weekend at Pittsburgh to giving about 60-65 minutes the next weekend, and then last weekend we played a high level for about 75 minutes. We are on the right curve, and that is encouraging. All that is left is to put together a complete game, and with this being our last match before Ivy play the time is right.”
“I’m not too concerned about playing a midweek match after the weekend, I think the women took our results pretty hard and are anxious to get back into a game. We try to keep things pretty simple and take it a match at a time, so this is the next progression. Right now we are focusing on ourselves -- getting individuals to play as well as they can, so that our team as a whole can play as well as it can. If we do that, we are a pretty difficult team to beat.”