PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer team played 40 extra minutes of soccer last weekend, going the distance in ties against non-conference foes VCU (1-1) and Towson (0-0). The Quakers open their Ivy League account this Saturday, traveling to Cambridge to face two-time defending champion Harvard. Kickoff is slated for 4 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!
The Series with Harvard
The Quakers trail the Crimson overall, 16-5-3, but are 4-4-0 over the last eight meetings and 5-6-3 in the last 14 after losing the first 10 matchups from 1991-2000. That said, Harvard has won the last two matchups, 3-0 last year in Philadelphia and 2-1 Cambridge in 2013. Penn has won at Harvard two times, in 2001 (3-1) and 2007 (1-0).
The Crimson (2-6-1) may have a losing record, but don’t be fooled: the Ivy League crown is theirs until someone knocks it off. Harvard has won the Ivy title each of the last two years, three of the last four, and five of the last seven. Junior Midge Purce (2 goals) is a two-time unanimous first-team All-Ivy player who was Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2013. Dani Stollar was last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year. In the back, senior defender Alika Keene was first-team All-Ivy last year, while junior backliner Bailey Gary was second-team All-Ivy. In goal, Lizzie Durack has started eight of nine matches and sports a 1.10 goals-against average.
*Using the common soccer formula of three points for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss, Penn has 14 points from its seven matches so far this season. This marks the ninth time in the program’s 25-year history the Quakers have had at least 14 points from seven matches, most recently in 2013 (also 4-1-2, 14 points) and 2011 (5-2-0, 15 points).
*The best seven-match start came in 1998 (6-0-1, 19 points), followed by 1997 (6-1-0, 18) and then the 2001 and 2007 seasons (5-1-1, 16).
*Penn returned just four players who scored last season to this year’s roster. None of them have scored yet this season, but nine other players have already scored.
*Of the nine 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 senior defender Paige Lombard; the senior co-captain scored in consecutive games, against Mount St. Mary’s and at Clemson. They were her first goals at Penn, but her third and fourth as a collegian -- she also scored twice at the University of Miami.
*Freshman Maddie Dawkins had Penn’s goal in its 1-0 win at USC Upstate on September 13. It was a just result for the Quakers, who outshot the Spartans 18-1 in the match.
*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 two of her first three collegiate starts after allowing just two goals (one on a PK) against the ranked Tigers.
*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.
*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.
*Freshman Sasha Stephens scored twice in her collegiate debut, notching Penn’s second and third goals last Sunday. That Monday, she was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
*Sophomore transfer Lauren 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.
*Penn’s forte in recent years has been its defense, and that figures to remain intact this season. That defense starts at the very back, where Kalijah Terilli has been the mainstay in goal for the last two years. She has been a third-team NSCAA All-Region pick each of the last two years, and was first-team All-Ivy in 2013.
*Terilli 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).
*Lombard is expected to be another anchor on defense. A transfer from the University of Miami (Fla.), she was expected to be in the lineup last year but suffered an injury just before preseason and missed the entire 2014 campaign.
*In the midfield, expect to see Mikolai running the show. She 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.