They both suffered shutout losses on Wednesday night. They both fell in overtime to Ivy League opponents in their previous games. And they both are looking for redemption this weekend.
Clearly the Penn and Harvard field hockey teams are entering tomorrow’s matchup in Boston under very similar circumstances. The Ivy season will be on the line for both squads as they try to avoid an 0-2 conference start.
“It’s an Ivy game and we need that Ivy win real bad — real bad,” coach Val Cloud said.
In their last outing, the Quakers (2-5, 0-1 Ivy) lost 4-0 to Villanova. Despite the fact that it had 19 shots and 15 penalty corners, Penn was unable to find the cage.
Although both sophomore Kieran Sweeney and freshman Danielle Rothman saw action against ’Nova in goal, it is likely that Sweeney will start against the Crimson (5-2, 0-1) tomorrow. She had played every minute of the season prior to being subbed out at the 17-minute mark of the second half.
At 2-6 — which is uncomfortably close to the 1-7 record they had this time last season — the Quakers are hoping to use the experience gained against the Wildcats in order to notch their first win in three outings.
According to senior co-captain Katie Rose, tomorrow’s matchup is important not only because of its Ivy League implications, but also “just to turn our season around right now.”
Harvard, however, is in the same mindset. The Crimson dropped their first Ivy league game to Yale, 4-3, despite scoring three unanswered goals in the second half.
Continuing the parallels between the two teams, Harvard was also shutout by a non-league opponent, Connecticut, by a score of 6-0 Wednesday.
Although it suffered a large margin of defeat, Harvard’s freshman goalkeeper Cythnia Tassopoulus had 23 saves, experience that should be beneficial against the Quakers’ attack.
Offensively, the Crimson’s leading scorer, junior midfielder Chloe Keating, has tallied six goals and four assists this season.
It will be up to Sarah Warner and Penn’s backs to keep her from finding the cage. Rose has confidence in her teammate’s abilities.
“After our last Ivy League game … we’re just ready to win this one and just basically win every Ivy League game from here on out,” Rose said. “I think it’s completely doable.”
The two Ivy rivals will face off on the AstroTurf of Jordan Field tomorrow. Although it is different than the Sprinturf surface of Franklin Field, Penn won’t be fazed, as both its wins have come away from home.
“Everything, your receptions, are just smoother,” Rose said. “I think that should help us out.”
That and the fact that Harvard is reeling as well.
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