With the majority of fall sports kicking off this weekend, we at The Daily Pennsylvanian figured it was a perfect time to look ahead and think about endings. Our Sports Editors discuss which of Penn's teams have the strongest rosters and are likeliest to win a title — Ivy or otherwise.
Theodoros Papazekos, Sports Editor — Women's Soccer
It might be a bit of a dark horse considering the final Ivy standings in the past few years, but Penn women’s soccer has a legitimate chance at an Ivy title this season. Coach Nicole Van Dyke finally has a team made up of only her own recruits, so her style and philosophy should be well ingrained into the team by now.
The veteran leadership is there up and down the roster. Kitty Qu provides a consistent, veteran presence in net behind Camilla Nwokedi and Megan Lloyd who anchor a back line that was solid a year ago. In front of them, Allie Trzaska leads the midfield as a creative force, and Sasha Stephens, Emily Sands, and Emma Loving are all capable options in attack.
Newer additions have brought a spark as well: freshmen Jojo Cotto and Mia Shenk have played meaningful minutes, and transfer Breukelen Woodard has been a key figure in the midfield.
While the Ivy League remains competitive — 2017 champions Princeton advanced to the national quarterfinal — Penn women’s soccer has the pieces to make a run come October.
Marc Margolis, Sports Editor — Sprint Football
Though Penn sprint football does not compete for an Ivy League championship, this team has what it takes to hoist the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) trophy this year.
Offensively, the Quakers return 2017 First Team All-CSFL quarterback Eddie Jenkins, who helped Penn pace the league in total offense last season. Aside from Jenkins, the Red and Blue return dynamic senior running backs Jake Klaus and Max Jones in addition to star senior wide receiver Aidan Kelly. On the defensive side of the ball, seniors James Juliano and Angelo Matos return to the front seven after not playing last season, while defensive backs Tom Console, Guiseppe Bevacqua, and Michael Doulong anchor a strong secondary.
Still, despite a large portion of last year's talent returning, what truly gives Penn the best chance to win a championship this season is the top-heavy nature of the CSFL. Traditionally, only Penn, Navy, and Army have truly contended for league titles over the past couple decades, and barring any unforeseen changes, that will remain the same this year.
The Quakers will have their hands full with the service academies, but do not sleep on the Red and Blue as they seek to avenge last year’s loss to Army in the title game.
Yosef Weitzman, Sports Editor — Football
Penn football only finished fourth in the Ivy League last season and that team boasted Justin Watson, one of the best players in school history who is now fighting for a roster spot in the NFL.
If that was all you knew about Penn and Ivy League football, it would be perfectly fair of you to say that the odds are stacked against the Quakers winning a title this season. In fact, it would be fair of you to say that even if you were an expert in Ivy football — the preseason media poll ranked Penn fourth best in the conference.
So then what gives? Consider what happened last year. With just two Ivy games remaining on the schedule for each team last season, it was still possible for seven — that’s right seven — of the teams in the Ancient Eight to win a share of the title. Add in the fact that in the two seasons prior to 2017, Penn shared titles with a total of three other teams, and at least one thing should be clear: anything is possible in Ivy football.
A previous version of this article misspelled "it's" in the headline. The DP regrets the error. 1:52pm 09/05/18