Penn women's soccer looks to extend winning streak against Columbia
Quakers riding three straight wins as they take on Lions
October 6, 2011, 12:46 am · Updated October 6, 2011, 11:37 am·
The Penn women’s soccer team has regained the form that vaulted it to five straight wins to open the season. Now the question is whether their roll will continue through Ivy League play.
The Quakers (8-2-0, 1-1 Ivy) will host Columbia (4-6-0, 2-0 Ivy) Friday at Rhodes Field, looking to move up the league standings and extend their three-game winning streak.
“I think we’ve gained a lot of confidence in the last three games,” coach Darren Ambrose said.
“We just have to focus one game at a time,” freshman Megan York said about the Quakers’ chances on matching their season-opening five-game winning streak. “Right now, all of our focus is on Columbia. Once we get past that, we can focus on the other games.”
The Lions are currently tied with Harvard for first in the Ivy League, but Ambrose did not overemphasize the importance of the game.
“It’s one game,” Ambrose said. “The Ivy League title will not be decided on Friday.”
Ambrose said the team’s records going into the game do not matter.
Penn’s lone Ivy defeat last season came at home against Columbia almost to the date. In a hard-fought loss, the Quakers fell, 2-1, despite outshooting the Lions and hitting a crossbar on what would have been the equalizer.
Again, however, Ambrose did not believe this would play a major part in this year’s game.
“They’re totally different teams. And that’s the thing about college athletics,” he said.
“I’m sure some returning players feel a little bit like, ‘Hey, we need to get a little revenge,’ and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he continued. “But for me, and our general mentality, it’s about this team, and this group of girls on Friday.”
The game will feature a pair of standout freshmen in the Ivy League’s reigning Player of the Week, Columbia’s Alexa Yow, and York, the reigning Rookie of the Week.
“It’s a good honor,” York said about the recognition. “It’s just exciting to be a freshman and receive that and have an impact.”
Ambrose downplayed the novelty of freshman contributions this far into the season.
“At this point, it’s starting to settle down, so that I’m not so sure being a freshman counts as much anymore,” he said.
The coach has received key contributions from not only York but also rookies Kaitlyn Moore and Callan Parra.
“The first game against Harvard I think that was a little difficult [for the freshmen],” Ambrose said. “I think the occasion was kind of big for them.”
“At the moment though, after coming off from Cornell, I think they’ve settled, and they’re doing very, very well.”