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8-29-21-penn-wsoccer-vs-george-mason-janae-stewart-sukhmani-kaur

Freshman forward Janae Stewart kicks a through ball down the field during a match against George Mason on Aug. 29. 

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

Penn women's soccer faces two tough opponents this weekend in Villanova and Rice University, as the Red and Blue hopes to build upon the team's most recent victory.

This Thursday, the Quakers will take on Villanova (6-1) at home. This will mark Penn's first meeting with the Wildcats since 2011, a match which Penn won, 1-0. If they want a repeat of that result, the Quakers must focus on neutralizing the Wildcats' leading scorer, senior forward Chloe O'Neill, who already has seven goals and 17 points on the season.

Next up, Penn will welcome Rice University (6-1-1) to Rhodes Field. This is not the Quakers' first meeting with the Owls. Back in 2006, Penn and Rice met on Rhodes Field, playing a long game that resulted in a 0-0 draw decision. 

Since then, the Owls have worked their way to a No. 19 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches national poll this season. In this upcoming game, the Owls hope to prove why they’re ranked that high, especially after coming away from their last game against Southern Methodist University with a 1-0 loss. 

The Red and Blue won’t make it easy on them, as they look to their talented players to keep their streak. One of those players is senior forward Mia Shenk, who was responsible for three out of four goals in Sunday’s game against George Washington, netting the first hat-trick for a Penn player since 2011. Another player to look out for on Sunday is freshman forward Janae Stewart, who was responsible for Penn's other Sunday goal.

After tying 2-2 in overtime against Loyola Maryland on Monday night, Penn men’s soccer (2-1-1) hopes to get out of their slump in time for the team's upcoming game on Friday, when they host Mount St. Mary’s. The Mountaineers (1-4) are traveling to Philadelphia on a four-game losing streak.

A bright spot in Penn's recent draw was the breakout performances from underclassmen, who will look to carry their success into Friday's match. Freshman forward Charlie Gaffney scored his first goal in Penn’s matchup against Loyola, and sophomore midfielder Michael Hewes also notched his first collegiate point after making an assist on Gaffney's goal.

The upperclassmen will also be sure to make their presence felt. Graduate student Joey Bhangdia was responsible for the Red and Blue’s first goal of the game on Monday, and already has three goals on the season. 

Play against the Mountaineers starts at 7 p.m. at Rhodes Field. 

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