And so it will end.
With a satisfying victory on Senior Day in the rearview mirror, Penn field hockey will wrap up its 2014 campaign on Saturday when it heads to Princeton to take on its rival in the season finale.
“It's going to be bittersweet, but we’re definitely very excited,” said senior attack Emily Corcoran , who will be playing her final college game. “We have a chance to beat Princeton this year, so that would be an awesome way to go out.”
The game will decide whether or not the Quakers will finish over .500, both overall and in the Ivy League. At 3-3 in the Ancient Eight and 8-8 overall, coach Colleen Fink has mixed feelings about how the season has played out.
“[Our season] has been the product of a lot of different variables. I think this was a big learning year,” Fink said. “From a coaching standpoint, I’ve learned that it’s not always easy to be the best.”
While the Quakers are gunning for the minor goal of finishing with a winning record, Princeton (6-10, 5-1 Ivy) will be playing for a shot at the Ivy title. The Tigers are currently tied with Columbia for first place in the Ivy League and may be doing a bit of scoreboard-watching as the Lions play Harvard at the same noon timeslot on Saturday.
Without much on the line on Saturday (besides a shot at sliding into third place in the league), Penn’s seniors will get a chance to enjoy the final games of their collegiate athletic careers.
Corcoran, for one, will be capping off an impressive career that has seen her net 26 goals and notch a second-team All-Ivy nod during her junior season.
Freshman Alexa Hoover will have a chance to cap off a breakthrough freshman season that has seen her receive four Ivy League Rookie of the Week nods. With 13 goals on the season, Hoover enters the final game in a three-way tie for the league lead with Zoe Blake of Columbia and Marisa Siergiej of Cornell.
Corcoran would be ecstatic to see her young teammate take the Ivy scoring title.
“It would be huge for Alexa,” she said. “She has great individual skills and she’s a great team player. She always gives 100 percent on the field.”
So, while Penn’s season will not end in the title many had hoped for, its final game will represent the passing of the torch from an accomplished group of seniors to the talented underclassmen, led by Hoover.
“Our freshman have really stepped up this year,” Corcoran said. “Our team is really young, and they’ve done a good job of being leaders, even as freshmen .”
However, Fink was quick to emphasize that the focus, for now, will remain on Saturday’s tilt.
“We’re really excited for this game,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll look at it [in a broader sense] until the game is over. But our seniors have been through a lot, and it would be great for them to come out on top.”
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