PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's soccer team is officially off to its best start in Ivy League play after Saturday evening's 2-1 win over Yale at Rhodes Field.
With the win, the Quakers are 4-0-0 in the Ancient Eight for the first time in program history, as well as 10-2-1 overall. Penn has won five in a row overall, and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 matches.
Penn's win, coupled with Princeton's 4-2 loss at Harvard earlier Saturday, puts the Quakers alone in first place in the Ivy League.
Yale fell to 7-6-0 overall, 2-2-0 in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs entered the match having won six of their last seven.
Penn gained the upper hand in this match early, scoring twice in the first 30 minutes. For the half, the Quakers outshot the Bulldogs, 6-1.
Jessica Fuccello, who has been red-hot of late, continued to sizzle Saturday. She scored the first goal, then created the opening that allowed freshman Marisa Schoen to score her first collegiate goal (and the one that proved to be the match-winner).
Fuccello's goal came in the ninth minute, when she took a cross fromJess Rothenheberon the left side and headed it into the top left of the goal. It was Fuccello's fourth-straight match with a goal, and her ninth this season. Rothenheber had gotten the ball when sophomore Michelle Drugan won a 50-50 ball and sent it her way. Rothenheber beat a defender, then fired a cross that found Fuccello.
Only a sophomore, Fuccello now has 18 goals in her career which is tied for seventh on the school's all-time list (withKelly Stevensand Rachelle Snyder). For Rothenheber, it was her team-leading eighth assist of the season, which puts her alone in third place on Penn's single-season list in that category.
As the match approachedthe half-hour, Mara Fintzi and Fuccello combined to help Schoenwith her goal. Fintzi got space along the sideline, then sent a ball in. Fuccello got tangled up with Yale goalkeeper Susan Starr, and in the scramble Schoen was left with the ball. She put it away to make it a 2-0game.
Yale got one backwith just 11:32 to play, when Natalia Mann converted a penalty kick. However, that was all for the Bulldogs, who managed just four shots in the match. Sara Rose was in goal for theQuakers and had to make just one save. Starr finished with two forYale.
Penn is back in action twice next week, both times on the road; the Quakers are at UMBC Tuesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. kickoff, then at Brown Sunday at 1 p.m.