As the fall season comes to a close — the first since 2019 — we take a look at five interesting statistics from fall sports teams that were exceptionally noteworthy.
Women’s soccer’s (almost) “perfect” season
Perfect may not be the right word, but what women’s soccer nearly pulled off was certainly interesting. Going into the season finale against No. 14 Princeton, the team had not lost a single game on their home turf and had also not won a single game on the road.
Sadly for the Quakers, they dropped a hard-fought, 1-0 loss to the Tigers, finishing with a home record of 9-1 and a road record of 0-4-2.
In a year where the home-field advantage hasn’t been as prominent in the NFL, the Quakers clearly benefited from some eager Red and Blue supporters. Perhaps the key to winning the Ivy League next year will involve finding a way to get all of these passionate Penn enthusiasts to road games.
In 2021, Penn sprint football was blowout or bust
Over the course of Penn sprint football’s seven-game season, the team didn’t play in a single close game. Their closest contest was a 25-point loss to Army. That four-possession deficit shines light on a larger statistical theme in the Quakers’ season: the team was blowout or bust.
In Penn’s five victories, it outscored opponents by a margin of 200. In games against Mansfield, Cornell, Chestnut Hill, Caldwell, and Alderson Broaddus, the Quakers scored 252 points, while only allowing those opponents 52 points. In the team’s two losses, both of which came to military academies in Army and Navy, the script was flipped, with Penn being outscored 90-27.
Penn men's soccer wins by largest margin in five years
On Sept. 17, 2021, Penn men's soccer defeated Mount St. Mary's by a score of 5-1. This victory was significant by virtue of it being the team’s largest margin of victory since they defeated Drexel by a score of 5-0 nearly five years earlier, on Sept. 24, 2016.
Unfortunately for the Quakers, they were unable to score more than two goals for their next eight games. The Red and Blue undoubtedly wish they could've saved some of their goals for one of their later, closer games.
Volleyball finished the season with its best Ivy League record since 2017
Although they finished 8-15 overall and 5-9 against conference opponents, the Red and Blue secured their best conference record in four years. For reference, in 2018, the team finished at 3-11 in the Ivy League, and in 2019, it finished at 4-8 in the conference after its last two games were canceled.
With their improved Ivy League performance, the Quakers earned themselves a sixth-place finish in the conference for the season. They finished ahead of Cornell and Columbia, which were the last two teams they beat — both in straight sets — in the season. Penn’s other Ivy League victories included a close one on the road at Harvard, and two fairly decisive ones against Dartmouth and at Columbia.
Isaiah Malcome in the record books
Despite a disappointing finish to the season, there were still many individuals who shined for the Red and Blue throughout the year, specifically Isaiah Malcome. The graduate student running back ended the season leading starting Ivy League running backs with 5.9 yards per carry. Furthermore, Malcome was the only running back in the Ancient Eight to have had a 200-yard rushing game this season.
What may be most impressive is that Malcome will finish his career as the Quakers’ all-time leader in yards per carry with 6.0 yards per carry. After spending most of his time with the Red and Blue as a return specialist and back-up running back, Malcome broke out this past season, rushing for 711 yards on 123 carries and six touchdowns.