Penn field hockey is looking to gather momentum this weekend after securing its first win of the season against Villanova.

Photo: Ananya Chandra

With their first win under their belt, Penn field hockey can set their sights on a bigger challenge: the Ivy League.

The Quakers (1-3) have an exciting weekend ahead of them as the team gets closer to Ancient Eight play in two weeks. Penn has its first road game of the year on Friday, traveling only a few blocks away to play Drexel as part of Philadelphia Field Hockey Night. Two days later, the Quakers will return to Ellen Vagelos Field to host Iowa.

Last season, the Quakers defeated the Dragons in a tight 2-1 finish. The Quakers are 8-6 all-time against Drexel (3-3). The Dragons are coming off of a 4-1 loss against Lafayette, but Drexel is yet to lose on its home field, defeating both Rider and Brown last week.  

Iowa (3-4) is coming off a decisive 7-1 victory at home against New Hampshire. In that game, sophomore midfielder Katie Birch recorded her second career hat trick to lead Iowa to victory. The Hawkeys will first visit Penn State on Friday to start their Big Ten competition, before coming to Philadelphia. 

Drexel and Iowa represent the final two challenges for the Quakers before beginning conference play at home against Cornell on September 23.

The Red and Blue enter Friday’s Philadelphia rivalry match on a high note, coming off their first win of the season, a 2-0 triumph over Villanova. Senior forward Alexa Hoover scored the only two goals of the game to lead the Quakers to victory. Hoover now has three goals and seven total points on the season to begin the final year of her excellent college career. Also in the 'Nova victory, senior goalkeeper Liz Mata recorded four stops in her first shutout of the year.

While Penn only has one win to its name thus far, the team's three losses have come against very stiff competition. The Red and Blue opened their season with games against top-ranked UNC, defending national champion Delaware and a very formidable Rutgers squad. 

The Quakers will be eager to begin Ivy League play in two weeks, but first they must focus on the task at hand. The Red and Blue hope to extend momentum from the Villanova win into this weekend and beyond.

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