PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's soccer season has followed a distinct pattern through the first three weekends - score in one match and one, get shut out in the other and lose. That pattern is literally a coast-to-coast phenomenon, thanks to last weekend's trip to California that saw the Quakers blank CSU-Northridge on Friday (1-0) but fall on Sunday to Loyola Marymount (1-0).
This would be a good weekend for Penn to break the trend. Ivy League play begins on Friday night at 7 p.m. when two-time defending champion Harvard comes to town. On Sunday, the Quakers go back out of conference with a home game against the Naval Academy at noon.
Around the League: All eight teams kick off Ivy League play this weekend, beginning Friday with Penn's match against Harvard and Columbia hosting Cornell at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Princeton is at Yale for a 4 p.m. kickoff, and on Sunday Dartmouth will host Brown at 1 p.m.
The Series with Harvard: Like many of its Ivy League series, Penn is down significantly all-time to Harvard, 13-3-3. However, those numbers are skewed by the last nine meetings, during which time the teams are even at 3-3-3. Last year, the Crimson knocked off the Quakers in Cambridge, 3-2. Prior to that, Penn had won two in a row, 2-0 two years ago here at Rhodes Field and 1-0 in 2007 at Harvard. (The 2007 win clinched Penn's only outright Ivy League title.)
About Harvard: The Crimson (2-3-1) have gone 11-1-1 in Ivy League play since that 2-0 loss here at Penn two years ago. Not surprisingly, Harvard is being led offensively by Katherine Sheeleigh (2g, 2a) and Melanie Baskind (2g). Sheeleigh was the 2007 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and is a three-time first-team All-Ivy pick, while Baskind was the 2008 Ivy Rookie of the Year. Patricia Yau has a goal and two assists. At the other end, Alexandra Millet and Jessica Wright have both seen significant time in goal. Millet has a 1.67 goals-against average in 357 minutes, while Wright has a 1.79 GAA in 201 minutes. Harvard also boasts Lindsey Kowal, a second-team All-Ivy pick in 2009, and Gina Wideroff who received honorable mention All-Ivy last year.
The Series with Navy: Sunday's meeting between the Quakers and the Middies will be the first since 2000. Penn leads the all-time series, 1-0-1, with a 6-0 victory in 1999 here in Philadelphia. The teams drew, 0-0, in Annapolis the following season.
About Navy: The Midshipmen (4-5-1) play Duquesne Friday before heading to Philadelphia for Sunday's tilt. Navy enters the weekend with Carissa Youker leading the way in scoring; she has four goals and an assist. Ashlynn Soellner and Christine Calderon have three goals each, while Anastasia Abid and Paloma Perez have two apiece. Overall, Navy has 18 goals this season. At the other end, both Hannah Legler and Alexes Lopez-Shaw have made five starts. Legler has a 1.21 GAA in 519 minutes, while Lopez-Shaw has a 1.69 GAA in 425 minutes.
*Penn is 3-0 when scoring this season, 0-3 when getting shut out.
*Of the seven players who have recorded a point this year for Penn, four are freshmen.
*Penn has played at least 18 players in all six matches this season.
*Senior Kaitlin Campbell scored Penn's only goal last weekend; it was her first this season and just the second of her career. (The other came Oct. 22, 2008 against Rider.)
*Classmate Sarah Friedman had the assist on Campbell's goal at CSUN. A first-team All-Ivy pick in 2008 and second-team a year ago, Friedman now needs three assists to become the program's all-time leader (she now has 23).
*Freshman Kathryn Barth is Penn's leading scorer, with two goals. She scored them in consecutive games, against Villanova and Saint Joseph's.
*All three players who scored in Penn's 3-0 win against Villanova recorded their first collegiate goal in the process - Barth, fellow freshman Christina Hart, and sophomore Erin Beck.
*Penn's 3-0 win over Villanova on the season's opening weekend was the Quakers' first over the Wildcats; prior to the match, Penn was 0-11-1 all-time against Villanova.
*Junior Caroline Williams has played every minute in goal this season; she was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the Penn Invitational by the participating coaches.
*Williams has made 18 saves in the last three matches -- seven against Dayton, six at CSUN, five at Loyola Marymount. For the season, Williams has an .857 save percentage and a 0.67 goals-against average.
*Campbell and fellow senior defender Marisa Schoen were the host team's representatives on the Penn Invitational's all-tournament team.
*The Quakers return seven of 11 starters and 15 letterwinners from a team that went 10-4-2 overall last year. (That record was best among the Ivy League programs in 2009.)
*Penn went 4-3-0 in the Ivy League and tied for third place; the Quakers' last title came in 2007, when the four current seniors -- Campbell, Schoen, Friedman, Kristin Kaiser -- were freshmen.
*Junior Marin McDermott is the team's leading returning scorer; she had six goals in 2009. McDermott has earned All-Ivy each year she has been at Penn.
*The defense will be anchored by two of Penn's three captains, Campbell and Schoen. (The other captain is Kaiser.) Campbell -- an honorable mention All-Ivy player in 2009 -- has started 56 of Penn's last 57 games, while Schoen has 48 career starts.
*Among the returning players, only junior Theresa Yankovich joins the captains, McDermott and Friedman as a field player who started more than 10 matches last year. She had 11 starts.