PHILADELPHIA – After salvaging a 1-1 tie with Yale on Saturday -- keeping their Ivy title hopes flickering in the process -- the University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team heads to Providence this weekend to face the team it is tied with for second place in the standings, Brown. The Quakers and Bears will kick off Saturday at 7 p.m.
Around the Ivies
Penn (3-1-1) and Brown (3-1-1) may already be out of the Ivy League title race by the time they kick off on Saturday night. That’s because Harvard (5-0-0) hosts Dartmouth (3-2-0) at 1 p.m., and can clinch the title and accompanying NCAA Championship berth with either a win or a tie. (The Crimson hold the tiebreaker over the Quakers and the Bears, having already beaten both of them this season.) Also at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Yale (2-2-1) is at Columbia (0-3-2). Cornell (1-4-0) and Princeton (0-4-1) will kick off Saturday at 7 p.m. in New Jersey.
The Series with Brown
Penn leads the series, 10-9-3, and is 8-2-2 over the Bears in the last 12 matchups. That said, four of the last six matches have gone to overtime, including last year’s that ended as a Quaker victory after Megan York scored in extra time at Rhodes Field. Penn and Brown tied, 0-0, two years ago in Providence; four years ago, the Quakers won 1-0 in overtime.
The Bears (8-5-1, 3-1-1) played Harvard in a non-conference game on Tuesday, and fell to the Crimson in overtime, 1-0. Their only loss in Ivy play also came to the Crimson, 3-1 on October 19, while the Ivy tie was at Columbia on October 5. Chloe Cross has six of Brown’s 15 goals this season, while Mika Siegelman -- a first-team All-Ivy pick last year -- has three and Kiersten Berg has two. Annie Gillen, who was second-team All-Ivy last year, leads the Bears with four assists while Cross has three. In goal, Amber Bledsoe and MC Barrett have split duties. Bledsoe has a 1.29 GAA and a .827 save percentage, while Barrett is at 0.93 and .781.
Penn entered the week with the best Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) among the Ivy League programs, at 51. The RPI, of course, is the major factor when the NCAA Championship field is picked in a few weeks. If the Quakers want to be in the conversation for an at-large NCAA bid, they can do themselves a world of good with a road victory this weekend against the Ivy team with the second-best RPI (Brown, 71). Realistically, Penn’s RPI probably needs to be in the high 30s to mid-40s at the end of the season for the Red and Blue to even think about the possibility of an at-large bid.
The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced the Capital One Academic All-District teams in women’s soccer on Thursday, and two Penn women were honored in District II, seniors Kathryn Barth and Claire Walker. They are the fifth and sixth women in program history to be recognized at this level by CoSIDA, and the first since Adrienne Lerner in 2011. This also marks the first time Penn has had two women earn Academic All-District in the same season. Barth and Walker are now eligible for Capital One Academic All-America honors; those will be voted on by CoSIDA members in November.
*At 10-1-4, Penn is making history. Using the formula of three points for a win and one for a tie, the Quakers have 34 of a possible 45 points this season. The only other Penn teams that had 34 points or more at the 15-match mark were 2011 (13-2-0/39 points), 2007 (11-3-1/34), 2001 (12-1-2/38), and 1999 (11-3-1/34).
*In addition, this is only the second time that Penn has had just one loss at this point in the season, the other being 2001 (12-1-2).
*Penn’s .800 win percentage put them 21st nationally at the start of the week.
*Penn has had at least 10 wins in two of the last three seasons, three of the last five, and four of the last seven campaigns.
*Penn is 37-10-8 over its last 55 matches dating back to the 2010 season. In those 55 matches, Penn has more shutouts (34) than goals allowed (32).
*Penn is 19-5-4 in its last 28 Ivy League matches, dating back to the 2009 season.
*Penn has not lost to an Ivy League team at home since a 2-1 loss to Columbia on Oct. 8, 2010. Since then, the Quakers are 10-0-1 on Rhodes Field against Ivy opposition, the tie coming two weeks ago against Yale.
*Penn had a shutout streak of 697 minutes snapped when Yale scored on Saturday; it was the first goal the Quakers had allowed in the month of October.
*Penn was the last team in NCAA Division I to allow a goal this season -- Old Dominion finally dented the Quakers’ net on September 22 -- and has allowed just six goals in 15 matches.
*Penn entered the weekend third in the nation in shutout percentage (.733) and fourth in goals-against average (0.37). Two years ago, the Quakers led the nation in shutout percentage (13 in 17 matches) and allowed just seven goals all season.
*Never mind keeping teams off the score sheet; Penn just isn’t giving teams many chances to score. The Quakers have outshot their opponents by a whopping 206-107 so far this season, and Quaker goalies Kalijah Terilli and Katherine Myhre have been called upon just 34 times to make saves (Terilli 26, Myhre 8).
*Penn has had 10 different players score its 23 goals this season.
*Penn has had one scoreless tie this year, and three others where goals were scored. In those three ties, the Quakers spotted the opposition their goals first (2 for ODU, 1 for Lehigh, 1 for Yale) before coming back to salvage the draw.
*Senior Kerry Scalora had Penn’s goal in the Yale match, a penalty kick in the 90th minute. It was Scalora’s third PK goal this season, and her team-leading sixth overall.
*Scalora enters the weekend with 16 career goals and 12 career assists for 44 career points.
*Sophomore Erin Mikolai had a goal and an assist last Tuesday at NJIT, coming on the heels of her performance against Dartmouth last weekend when she might have been the best player on the field and assisted the winning goal.
*Mikolai now has five points on the season (1g, 3a) and is tied for the team lead in assists with Clara Midgley -- who assisted Mikolai’s goal at NJIT -- and Scalora.
*Laura Oliver also had a goal at NJIT, her first this season.
*Junior Megan York had Penn’s goal against Dartmouth, her third tally this season. She also has two assists for eight points.
*Penn’s win at Navy on October 14 was the program’s 200th all-time (after the Dartmouth win, the program’s all-time record is 201-143-39). Head Coach Darren Ambrose has been at the helm for 137 of those victories.
*The Navy win also guaranteed Penn a winning overall record for the 2013 season. The Quakers have finished above .500 every one of Coach Ambrose’s 14 seasons.
*Penn boasts two women who earned All-Ivy honors last year, seniors Scalora (first-team forward) and Brianna Rano (second-team defender). Scalora was also the 2010 Ivy League and ECAC Rookie of the Year.
*Senior Kathryn Barth, meanwhile, was a second-team All-Ivy and second-team NSCAA all-region selection two years ago, as a sophomore.
Penn will close out the regular season next Friday night, hosting archrival Princeton at 6 p.m. on Rhodes Field.