Last season was filled with unfulfilled expectations for both Penn men’s and women’s soccer. However, any disappointing season is partially redeemed by the fact that another lies right around the corner. And with the fall season fast approaching, both squads will soon get their shots at taking care of any unfinished business.
Last week, both programs released their schedules in advance of their 2015 seasons. To mark the occasion, let’s take a look forward at each of the teams’ three biggest upcoming matchups.
Last season did not go as Penn women’s soccer probably would have expected. Not even close.
After an up-and-down season, the Quakers failed to break the .500 mark in Ivy play. The real shock came after the end of their season, though, as longtime coach Darren Ambrose left to take over at Vanderbilt.
In the wake of this massive change, here are the three biggest matchups the Red and Blue will face this season.
1. Harvard, Sept. 26
The Quakers will not only need to open their Ivy schedule on the road, but also against the two-time defending champion Crimson. Harvard has established itself as a force in the Ancient Eight as of late, and that was made clear last year as the Crimson defeated the Quakers, 3-0. It may be a lot to ask Penn to take home Ivy hardware in its first year with new coach Nicole Van Dyke, but a win over Harvard would be a huge step in the right direction.
2. Seton Hall, Aug. 30
In her first match as Penn head coach, Van Dyke will have the tough task of taking on a Big East opponent that has played the Quakers close in each of their past three meetings.
3. Princeton, Nov. 7
The Quakers will finish up their regular season against the rival Tigers, who are also in the midst of a coaching transition. If either finds itself in the thick of the Ivy race, it could make for some serious drama.
Coming off of an exhilarating Ivy championship run in 2013, the Quakers went into the 2014 season ready to repeat. Instead, they came away with a disappointing 2-3-2 Ivy record, good for fifth in the league. They were also hit hard by graduation, especially by the departure of forward Duke Lacroix.
However, with star forward Alec Neumann and longtime coach Rudy Fuller returning — along with the 12th-ranked recruiting class in the nation — the Quakers look ready to bounce back. Here’s what they will be up against.
1. Princeton, Nov. 7
While the Quakers lost their final two games of the 2014 season, the Tigers won their last five en route to share first place in the Ivy standings. In their penultimate Ivy matchup, Penn will need to avenge a tough 3-2 loss in 2014 in what could prove to be a deciding match in the Ivy race at Rhodes Field.
2. Dartmouth, Oct. 17
The Big Green earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament by taking home the Ivy title in a close race over Princeton last year. However, the Quakers gave them their only Ivy loss last year, and they will get another shot this year on their home field.
3. Washington, Sept. 4
The Quakers’ nonconference schedule doesn’t appear to be as brutal as it was last year. However, they will open their season against Washington, a team that spent time last year ranked No. 1 in the nation.Comments powered by Disqus
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