This should be a wild weekend for Penn field hockey.
In the season’s first weekend road trip, the Quakers will face Columbia on Friday night and crosstown rival Temple on Sunday afternoon, looking for two crucial wins just past the halfway point in their season.
Coming off a 3-0 home victory against Dartmouth and ranked 25th in the NCAA’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings, Penn (5-5, 2-1 Ivy) looks to be the favorite this weekend when compared to the rankings of their opponents; the Lions (6-5, 2-1 Ivy) and the Owls (4-8, 0-4 Big East) sit 36th and 39th, respectively.
“I think it puts good pressure on us and pushes us to know we should win, and if we win, it could boost our rankings even higher,” sophomore Alexa Schneck said.
The game against Columbia looks to be the tougher of the two on paper. Both the Quakers and the Lions are currently 2-1 in Ivy League play, and while the winner will move one step closer to the league title, the loser will have serious ground to make up. Last year, the Red and Blue sailed to a 4-1 win over the Lions, so they hope they can perform with the same success.
“Historically we’ve always been super competitive with Columbia, and when we play on their field, we don’t always get the outcomes we want, but we’re super excited to get out there and go,” junior Karen Seid said.
Just two days later, the Red and Blue will be back on the field again against Temple. Even though Penn is officially the away team, there should be plenty of support for the Quakers in the stands, because Temple’s field is located just a few miles away from campus. Added to that is the feeling of pride with playing in their home city and fighting for cross-Philly dominance against the Owls.
“We have this thing called the ‘Philly Six’, where we’re taking over Philadelphia and making sure for any game on our campus or in our city, we’re gonna win it,” Seid explained.
“We consider ourselves the ‘Philly Six’ champs and we think we dominate the city of Philadelphia, so fans should come out and support,” Schneck echoed.
Penn has not lost to Temple in field hockey since 2010, including two wins by a combined margin of 5-1 over the past two years, so the Quakers are eager to face their city foes.
Seid summed up her team's sentiment heading into the pivotal weekend.
“This weekend is really important for us, we’ve been super intense and focused preparing for the games and taking each game at a time, since every game is just as important as the next.”
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