The parallels between the field hockey teams from Penn and Cornell are striking. Those similarities will set the stage for a significant and telling game Sunday, when the Quakers take on the Big Red at 1 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y. Both teams began their seasons with labels of youthfulness and inexperience; the Quakers have five upperclassmen and the Big Red a mere seven. That youth has provided a significant offensive punch for both teams, as Penn sophomore Ali Corsi has scored five of the Red and Blue's 11 goals, and Cornell sophomore Anna Starkey has contributed five of their eight team goals this season. Both teams are heading into Sunday's game coming off big wins; the Quakers earned their first win of the season on Wednesday with a strong second half to defeat Lafayette, 3-1. That same day, the Big Red shut out Columbia, 4-0, to begin their Ivy campaign. "We gained confidence, no question," Penn coach Val Cloud said. "We haven't seen that physical burst of energy at the end of games before. Now they know they're capable and that they have it in them." The Quakers are now looking to even up their Ivy record at 1-1 in a game that Cloud feels her team can win. "There's no way we're going to finish at the bottom of the league this year," Cloud said. "We're capable of winning this one. Instead of just talking, we have to prove it to ourselves, as they've said." The fact that the Quakers are facing an Ancient Eight rival only raises the significance of the game. "To us, it's more important to win these Ivy games than to win the outside ones," Cloud said. "They're hungry for their first Ivy win." Tradition is on the Quakers' side, with the all-time record against the Big Red standing at 17-5-2. However, in their last meeting, the Quakers lost in double overtime, 2-1. "We'll have a battle up there -- we always have a battle," Cloud said. Most importantly, the Quakers are looking to continue performing consistently on the field. [In our last game], defensively, we gave up less corners and got more corners, which means we're not giving shots away and we're creating more opportunities on offense," Cloud said. In a matchup of two similar Ivy sides, Sunday's game should prove significant not only in terms of the league standings but also in demonstrating to each team how much they have progressed from that stage of youth and inexperience.Comments powered by Disqus
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