Get your popcorn ready. Come this weekend, a scoring show is arriving at Franklin Field.
Sunday, Yale field hockey (7-6, 3-1 Ivy) brings its Ivy League-leading offense to Philadelphia to take on a Penn team (3-10, 1-3) that has been on an offensive surge.
The Quakers enter the conference tilt coming off their best offensive performance of the season — a 5-2 shellacking of Appalachian State last Sunday — bolstered by freshman Alex Iqbal’s hat trick.
After scoring only seven goals in its first eight games, Penn has netted 12 in its last five.
“Practices have definitely been more competitive and more focused, and we’ve definitely been seeing it pay off,” senior captain Abigail Egan said.
The recent streak may have to continue against the Bulldogs, who come in riding a three-game winning streak during which they have scored 14 goals.
Led by 12-goal scorer Erin Carter, Yale currently finds itself in a five-way tie for the Ivy League lead, two games ahead of Penn.
Though the Elis boast quite a bit of offensive firepower, Penn coach Colleen Fink is undaunted by the task of slowing down an attack that routed her team, 10-0, a year ago.
“Our defense has to remain solid and confident as well as organized in our defensive quarter of the field,” she said.
Otherwise, the Quakers have to hope that the goals keep coming.
In addition to Iqbal, Penn’s offensive boost has come from senior Kirstin Snyder and sophomore Julie Tahan, the team’s top goal-scorer with five.
Practices focused on efficiency over volume have led to the resurgence, which included Sunday’s effort of five goals on 20 shot attempts.
“We’ve been working on receptions, passing, accuracy and getting more shots off,” Snyder said. “Shooting to score — not just shooting.”