Last weekend, Penn field hockey secured a crucial Ivy win, but failed to beat a top-20 opponent. Now, the Quakers will look to rebound on Saturday when they travel to New Haven, Conn. to play Yale.
No team with more than one loss has ever won an Ivy title, so a second Ivy loss could be fatal for the Red and Blue’s Ivy championship hopes. Penn (7-7, 3-1 Ivy) currently sits at third in the Ivy League behind both Harvard and Princeton, while Yale (7-6, 2-2) is tied for fourth with Columbia.
The Quakers will look to rely on junior goaltender Ava Rosati, who owns a 1.72 GAA and sits at 30th in that category nationally. Rosati also ranks third in the Ivy League in the same category and has recorded four shutouts this season so far.
The Bulldogs come into the matchup scoring almost a half a goal more per game than the Quakers. In order to secure a win on Saturday, Penn will need to play a complete game defensively in front of Rosati in net.
“[We’re focusing on] keeping the energy up through the whole 70 minutes,” Rosati said. “Ivy League games are always a lot more competitive just because there is always more on the line and [we’re] making sure that we can handle that extra aggression while keeping the intensity.”
The Quakers have won five of their last six games against the Elis, and Saturday’s game will mark the 43rd meeting between the two teams. They will look to repeat last year’s decisive 1-0 victory.
The Red and Blue are determined to learn from the loss to No. 18 Delaware.
“Always coming off after a loss you just have to keep your spirits up and focus on everything that went wrong and how to correct it,” Rosati said. “Just from a team perspective all of us are really excited.... We just need to come together and play really strong.”
The Quakers will entrust underclassman for success in against the Bulldogs. Freshman forward Madison Jiranek scored her first goal in a 2-0 win over Columbia and will look to continue her success.
As Rosati indicated, Ivy matchups are crucial, and another loss will all but eliminate Penn from title contention. While the Eli’s haven’t fared much better than the Quakers so far, every one of Penn’s three remaining games are must-wins.
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