Last Sunday, Penn field hockey did something that they hadn’t done since Sept. 27: win.
The Quakers (5-7, 1-3 Ivy), having dropped their previous four matches, notched an impressive nonconference victory with a 5-0 win over Longwood.
“We needed to bounce back quickly,” coach Colleen Fink said of the shutout win. “We did a good job of playing with a little more intensity.”
On Saturday, the Red and Blue will look to start a winning streak when they head north to take on Yale in New Haven. The Bulldogs have struggled on the season as they currently sit at 2-11 overall with a 0-4 mark in Ivy League play.
However, Fink is quick to dispel any notion that her team should prepare for an easy win.
“With our Ivy League record, they might overlook us as well,” Fink said. “But the Ivy League is strong, so that why Yale’s record is where it is right now.”
Penn’s scoring on Sunday was once again powered by freshman attack Alexa Hoover . The freshman standout notched two more goals, pushing her season total to 11, tying her for first in the Ancient Eight with Columbia’s Zoe Blake and Cornell’s Marisa Siergiej . Hoover was rewarded for her efforts with the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week award, her third of the season.
“She just has those intangible qualities,” said Fink of her young star. “She forces a lot of adjustments defensively. Teams have to address how they pressure and mark her.”
Between Hoover and senior standouts Emily Corcoran and Alex Iqbal , the Quakers feature three of the Ivy League’s top ten goal scorers. In addition, Penn stars four different players who have dished out at least four assists.
However, the Red and Blue have had trouble translating that offensive star power to victories. Penn sits at 1-3 in Ancient Eight play, putting them in sixth place and out of championship contention.
“I think that we have to do a better job of managing the game,” Fink said. “We’ve done a good job of redefining our goals moving forward.”
Iqbal will be one of the main Quakers to watch on Saturday. After scoring in both of the Quakers’ games against Columbia and Longwood last weekend, the midfielder is now third on the team with six goals on the season.
After the win on Sunday, Fink was effusive about her veteran star.
“She was out for three games, but now she’s back and feeling good,” she said. “She’s a huge part of this team and its success. Whether she scores or not, she’s a key contributor.”
The Bulldogs will be led offensively by their leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Kelsey Nolan . On the defensive end, senior goalkeeper Heather Schlesier leads the Ivy League with 112 saves on the season.
“They have some good players in their program,” said Fink. “I think that they’re going to be a strong team.”
With only three games remaining in their Ivy schedule, the Red and Blue need to start accumulating wins in the Ancient Eight. Saturday in New Haven would be a great place to start.Comments powered by Disqus
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