Columbia is 2-0-0 in league play, one of two unbeatens left along with Harvard. Penn is among four teams at 1-1-0, and the Quakers would like nothing better than to get three points and remain solidly in the hunt for the championship. Revenge is also a factor -- Columbia was the only team to beat Penn a year ago, when the Red and Blue went 4-1-2 in Ivy play and won the title.
Around The League: Penn and Cornell kick off the third full weekend of action with Friday night's tilt in New York City. The other six teams all play on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. with Harvard (2-0-0) at Cornell (0-2-0). At 4 p.m., Princeton (0-2-0) is at Brown (1-1-0), while at 5:30 Dartmouth (1-1-0) and Yale (1-1-0) kick off in New Haven, Conn.
Penn vs. Columbia: The Quakers hold a narrow, 9-8-3 edge in the series, but it has been Columbia's run of late. The Lions are 4-1-1 in the last six meetings, including wins each of the last two years (4-2 two years ago in NYC, 2-1 last year in Philadelphia), and if you add in the tie from 2008 it means no one on the current Penn roster has ever won against Columbia. The Red and Blue's last win came in 2007, a 2-1 decision in New York. All-time, Penn is 5-3-1 at Columbia.
About Columbia: The Lions (4-6-0) have defeated Cornell and Brown in league play so far. Most recently, they fell 1-0 in overtime to Lehigh on Monday. Alexa Yow had both goals in last weekend's win over Brown and was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday. She leads Columbia with her four points, along with Coleen Rizzo. Three players including Ashlin Yahr -- a 2010 first-team All-Ivy performer who scored both goals in the Lions' 2-1 win over Penn last year -- have three points each with a goal and an assist. Lillian Klein, one of three other returning All-Ivy players, has a 0.97 goals-against average and an .840 save percentage.
*At 8-2-0, Penn is off to its best start since 2001, when the Quakers were 8-1-1 after 10 matches en route to a 13-2-3 record, a share of their first Ivy League title, and an NCAA Championship bid.
*Penn began the season with five wins, all coming by shutout. The last time a Quaker team posted five clean sheets in a row was 1999 (Oct. 20 to Nov. 6). Coincidentally, that 1999 streak was broken in the NCAA Championship first round by the same program that was Penn's final victim in this most recent streak, James Madison.
*Penn entered the week ranked 11th nationally in shutout percentage (.700) and 23rd in goals-against average (0.6).
*Penn was the second-to-last team in NCAA Division I women's soccer to give up a goal this season. The last team is still standing, and it's another Philadelphia squad -- La Salle entered the week having not allowed a goal in 11 matches.
*Penn has won nine games in a row at Rhodes Field dating back to last season, the Quakers' longest home winning streak since they won 12 in a row bridging the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
*In addition, Penn has allowed just one goal in six home matches this season, last Friday against Cornell.
*Freshman Megan York had two goals and an assist Sunday against Saint Francis (Pa.) and was honored as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. She is second on the team with nine points (4g, 1a).
*Senior forward Marin McDermott -- who was the Ivy League Player of the Week on Sept. 5 - scored the match-winner against Cornell on Friday and now has a team-high five goals and 12 points this season.
*McDermott has 19 career goals, which ties her for sixth place on Penn's all-time list with Kellianne Toland (1998-2001) and Carolyn Cross (2002-05).
*McDermott also has 47 career points, which pushes her into 10th place on Penn's all-time list in that category ahead of Cross.
*Freshman Callan Parra scored her second collegiate goal in Penn's win Sunday vs. Saint Francis, while classmate Clara Midgley tallied her first collegiate goal Friday vs. Cornell.
*Sophomore forward Kathryn Barth is third on the team with six points (2g, 2a).
*After McDermott (a senior), the next five point leaders on the Penn roster are freshmen and sophomores. The next player after that is junior captain Erin Beck (1g, 2a).
*Another player who had a strong weekend against Cornell and Saint Francis was sophomore Claire Walker, who punctuated her performances with an assist on Midgley's goal vs. the Big Red.
*In goal, junior Sarah Banks has started all 10 matches this season. She has gone the distance in three of the last four outings, and has a 0.75 GAA and an .808 save percentage.
*Penn has won two of the last four Ivy League titles; last year, the Quakers went 4-1-2 in Ivy play and narrowly edged Princeton for the championship.