PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team has had some impressive outings in Ivy League play recently, without the results to show for it. The Quakers, 0-1-3 in Ivy matches to date, hit the second half of conference play on Saturday, hosting Yale at 5 p.m. This match is the first half of a Rhodes doubleheader, as the Penn and Yale men kick off afterward at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Ivy League Digital Network
All Penn women’s soccer home matches, and most Ivy League road games, can be watched LIVE on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN)! This subscription-based service has packages for the year, the season, and even single games. There are also special packages for each of the eight Ivy institutions. Click here for more information!
Around The League
All eight teams are in action Saturday. All eyes will be on Cambridge, Mass., where Princeton (4-0-0) and two-time defending champion Harvard (4-0-0) kick off at 1:30 p.m. in a match that could essentially settle the title. Brown (0-3-1) and Cornell (2-1-1) are also kicking off at 1:30 in Ithaca, N.Y., while Columbia (1-2-1) and Dartmouth (0-2-2) kick off at 4:30 in Hanover, N.H. Yale (1-3-0) and Penn (0-1-3) wrap up the day with their 5 p.m. kickoff.
SATURDAY: Colon Cancer Awareness Night
The Penn women’s soccer team is designating Saturday’s match as Colon Cancer Awareness Night, a cause that holds special meaning to the members of the team.The Penn players and staff will wear dark blue wristbands during the match to recognize the cause, and dark blue ribbons will be handed out by the marketing staff at a table near the main fan entrance of Rhodes Field. Fans also will be encouraged to make a donation, which in turn will be made to Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center to help fund cancer research. (This was originally scheduled to happen during Penn’s game with Cornell three weeks ago, but was postponed when the match was moved to Penn Park due to inclement weather.)
The Series with Yale
The Bulldogs lead the series, 12-7-6, an advantage enhanced by wins in the first seven meetings from 1991-97. Since then, Penn hold a 7-5-6 lead. The Quakers are unbeaten in the last five meetings (3-0-2) -- including 1-1 ties each of the last two years -- and have lost just once to the Bulldogs over the last 10 years.
The Bulldogs (4-7-2) have lost to the three front-runners in the Ivy League standings: Princeton, Harvard and Cornell. Their Ivy win came against Dartmouth, which tied the Quakers last Saturday. Michelle Alozie leads the Yale attack, with five goals and four assists, while Sonia Griff has four goals and four assists. Keri Cavallo has scored three goals. At the other end, Rachel Ames has 11 starts, a 2.00 goals-against average, and a .739 save percentage.
*Penn (5-3-5) has gone 13-1-2 over its last 16 Ivy League matches on Rhodes Field, dating back to the 2010 season. One of those ties came last weekend, against Dartmouth. The other came two years ago, against Yale. (The Quakers’ 0-0 tie with Cornell on October 2 took place in Penn Park due to inclement weather.)
*Penn has outshot 11 of its 13 opponents this season; in their last four matches, the Quakers have outshot Lehigh, Columbia, American, and Dartmouth by a combined 71-24.
*Penn has shut out six opponents this season, and only two of its 13 opponents have scored more than one goal -- Clemson, currently ranked sixth in the NSCAA national poll, and two-time defending Ivy League champion Harvard scored twice each.
*As a team, Penn is 25th nationally out of 327 NCAA Division I programs in goals-against average (0.64).
*When Dartmouth scored with just 19 seconds left in regulation last Saturday, it ended the Quakers’ shutout streak in Ivy League matches at 341 minutes, 24 seconds.
*Penn has set a program record for ties in a season, with five. The previous record of four was set two years ago, when the Quakers went 12-1-4.
*Penn has drawn in 12 of its last 42 matches, going back to that 2013 season.
*Penn has gone the distance in each of its last three Ivy League matches, tying Dartmouth 1-1 last Saturday after going scoreless against Columbia and Cornell the two Fridays before that.
*Penn has gone to overtime in five of its last eight matches, and gone the distance in all five without settling matters.
*Penn scored five goals in its final non-conference match, a 5-0 win over American on October 13. It marked the most goals by the Quakers in a game since an 8-0 win over NJIT almost exactly four years ago (Oct. 12, 2011).
*Penn returned just four players who scored last season to this year’s roster. Two of them have scored so far this season -- juniors Lindsey Sawczuk (vs. American) and Olivia Blaber (Dartmouth) -- and nine other players have already scored.
*Of those nine other players who have scored, it was the first tally at Penn for seven of them. The only two whose goals weren’t their first were senior co-captain Erin Mikolai (Mount St. Mary’s) and classmate Shannon Hennessy (VCU). Of course, in Hennessy’s case it was her second collegiate goal -- the first came her sophomore year, in 2013.
*A caveat to the previous note is Paige Lombard; the senior co-captain scored in consecutive games, against Mount St. Mary’s and at Clemson, and opened the scoring against American. They were her first goals at Penn, but she now has five as a collegian -- she also scored twice at the University of Miami.
*Freshman Sasha Stephens broke out with two goals and an assist vs. American; it was her second two-goal game this season, the other coming in the season opener. On Monday, she was named co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week, her second weekly honor this season.
*Sophomore transfer Lauren Petite also scored against American, her first goal since the season opener.
*Senior goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli was upended and injured early at Clemson, which has left junior Carrie Crook to pick up the pieces -- which she has, posting shutouts in five of her first nine collegiate starts after allowing just two goals (one on a PK) against the ranked Tigers.
*In her first career Ivy League start, Crook made a career-high nine saves against two-time defending champion Harvard; she has conceded just the late goal to Dartmouth in Ivy play since then.
*Freshman Kiera Towell made her collegiate debut against VCU, stepping on at halftime of a 1-1 match and preserving the draw for the Quakers. She also saw time vs. American, coming on just before halftime.
*Freshman Maddie Dawkins’ first collegiate was the difference in Penn’s 1-0 win at USC Upstate, a match in which the Quakers outshot the Spartans 18-1.
*Sophomore Farah Otero-Amad had a goal and an assist in Penn’s win over Mount St. Mary’s, her first collegiate points.
*Sophomore Natasha Davenport and freshman Allie Trzaska -- who made her first collegiate start -- had the goals in the Quakers’ 2-1 win against previously unbeaten Temple.
*Penn opened its 2015 season -- and the Nicole Van Dyke coaching era -- with a 3-1 win over Seton Hall on August 30. It marked the fifth-straight year the Quakers have won their opener, and the sixth time in seven years.
*Stephens scored twice in her collegiate debut, notching Penn’s second and third goals. That Monday, she was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
*Petite also scored in her collegiate debut; she was on TCU’s roster last year but did not see any match action. Petite’s goal came less than four minutes into the contest.
*By calendar date, this year’s season opener was the earliest in program history -- in both 2007 and 2012 the Quakers opened the season on August 31. That 2007 game ended as a 1-0 win over Saint Louis, while the 2012 match was a 2-1 win over James Madison.
*Terilli -- a third-team NSCAA All-Region pick each of the last two years and first-team All-Ivy in 2013 -- owns 12 career solo shutouts, which is one shy of the program record held by Vanessa Scotto. Terilli’s career goals-against average is 0.78, second behind Sarah Banks (0.75 from 2010-12).
*The defense should once again be shored up by senior Caroline Dwyer. She was shut down after 11 matches last year due to injury, but as a sophomore she was Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year; first-team All-Ivy; first-team NSCAA All-Region; and third-team NSCAA All-America (just the second player in program history to earn NSCAA All-America recognition, after Katy Cross).
*Dwyer also is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award this year. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, this national award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletes to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
*In the midfield, Mikolai is a two-time All-Ivy honoree, including first-team honors as a sophomore, and was a third-team NSCAA All-Region selection after she led the Quakers in assists (6) last season.
*Junior Tahirih Nesmith was shut down early last season due to injury, after just two matches. As a freshman in 2013, though, she received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition after finishing second on the team with nine points (4g, 1a) and serving on a defense that posted 12 shutouts and allowed just eight goals all season.