fieldhockeyteam

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.

The Quakers are 8-6 all-time against Drexel (3-3) and in last season's matchup the Quakers defeated the Dragons in a tight 2-1 finish. Drexel is coming off of a 4-1 loss to Lafayette but has yet to lose on its home field, besting 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 the Hawkeyes to victory. Iowa 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 in a 2-0 triumph over Villanova. Senior forward Alexa Hoover scored the only two goals of the game to lead the Quakers to victory, bringing her senior season tallies to three goals and seven points. Also in the Villanova 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  stiff competition in the form of top-ranked UNC, defending national champion Delaware and a formidable Rutgers squad. 

The Quakers will be eager to begin Ivy League play in two weeks, but now they are focused on the task at hand and trying to extend their momentum from the Villanova win into this weekend and beyond.

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.