As the fall sports season draws near its midpoint, some teams are in the thick of Ivy League action, while others have already begun competing for championships. Let’s see what the Quakers have in store for the weekend ahead.
After a strong start to the season, the Penn (2-0) football team faces a foe as familiar as they are formidable. The group travels to New Hampshire for a 7:00 p.m. face-off with Dartmouth (1-1) on Friday, who will undoubtedly provide a challenging test for the Quakers as they begin conference play.
Dartmouth, who won a share of the Ivy League title in 2021, has beaten Penn on four straight occasions, including a 31-7 thrashing at Franklin Field a year ago. But the Big Green enter this year’s matchup with both a win and a loss after losing a 38-36 thriller to Sacred Heart (2-2) last weekend.
Containing the Dartmouth rushing attack will be key for Penn, and the defense has proven its ability in that domain during the first two games of the season. Dartmouth has had a player with 160+ rushing yards in each of its first two games, while Penn has not allowed a rusher over 30 yards. As an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, only time will tell which one will give.
Quaker to Watch: Logan Nash (Defensive Back) — The junior has played a pivotal role for the Penn defense, both in limiting the pass and stopping the run. He also forced the team’s first turnover of the season with an interception against Lafayette.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Lehigh this weekend to take part in the Paul Short Invitational. The men’s race begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, with the women’s race following at 10:15 a.m. Both teams are off to strong starts this season, each finishing in the top half of their first two invitational meets.
The women’s team is hoping to build on its victory at the Main Line Invitational two weeks ago. Led by the race’s top two finishers, Bronwyn Patterson and Laura Baeyens, the group finished first out of eight teams, edging out other schools from the Philadelphia area, including Swarthmore and La Salle.
While the men did not find quite the same success, their fourth-place finish at Main Line generated plenty of optimism for the rest of the season. After this weekend, both groups will attend two more invitationals before competing in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships.
Quakers to Watch: Bronwyn Patterson — After a successful freshman campaign, Patterson has begun her sophomore season in impressive form, highlighted by her win at Main Line. Her 15-second victory was exactly the kind of performance the team will look for moving forward.
Oliver Stewart — Stewart, a junior, runs a sub-four-minute 1500 meters on the track, and has the kind of kicking speed necessary to finish well. That is an aspect of the race his senior teammate, Zubeir Dagane, has stressed the importance of, and one the team will do their best to execute this weekend.
It was a heartbreaking start to the season for the field hockey team, with seven straight losses against tough competition, including five consecutive defeats by just a single goal. But after earning its first victory of 2022 and its first win over a ranked opponent since 2018 via a 2-0 shutout of No. 24 Temple (7-3), all the promise the team has shown may finally be coming to bear.
The schedule does not soften up for the group, as they host No. 15 Harvard (6-2) at Ellen Vagelos Field on Friday at 3 p.m. But after matching up with nationally ranked teams in six of their first eight games, including No. 1 North Carolina (8-0) and No. 2 Northwestern (9-1), the Quakers have plenty of experience against those kinds of highly-ranked programs. Then, on Sunday, the Quakers have another home bout against Long Island University (3-6) at noon.
Quaker to Watch: Meghan Ward (Midfielder) — A former All-Ivy honorable mention, Ward scored Penn’s first goal against Temple and assisted on the second. The senior will need to provide a sense of leadership for the team as it attempts to turn its season around.
Championship season officially begins for the tennis teams this weekend. The women’s group will make the trip to Princeton, N.J. to compete in Northeast Regionals, while the men’s team treks to Tulsa, Okla. for the All-American Championships. Both events are facilitated by the ITA.
From here on out, each match is even more important for members of both teams. Every tournament left on the schedule carries some form of prestige — from Regionals, to Super Regionals, to Nationals. This will provide the players the chance to showcase their skills on a larger stage and compete under brighter lights than they had been the last couple weeks.
Quakers to Watch: Juliana Munhoz — Munhoz, a freshman, earned victories in both of her doubles matches last weekend, despite playing with two different partners. This can be difficult to execute, as doubles requires a certain chemistry between teammates, but Munhoz was able to pull it off and finish the tournament undefeated.
Baylor Sai — After going 3-0 at the team’s most recent tournament, Sai will look to punctuate the fall of his sophomore season with a strong showing at the championship festivities.
After opening its season with an impressive victory over Alderson Broaddus (0-2), the sprint football team fell to .500 on Saturday with a 21-17 loss at Saint Thomas Aquinas (1-0). The game marked the first ever matchup between the two schools, and Saint Thomas Aquinas got the better of the Red and Blue in a tight contest.
The group will return home this week, taking on Army at 7 p.m. on Friday at Franklin Field. Army fell to Navy in last season’s Collegiate Sprint Football League title game, and the two service academies are the undisputed teams to beat. An upset would go a long way in validating Penn’s belief that they belong in that same championship conversation.
Quaker to Watch: Charles Tauckus (Linebacker) — Despite the team’s disappointing loss, Tauckus shined against Saint Thomas Aquinas. He recorded 13 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, as well as an interception. He took home CSFL Rookie of the Week honors.
Two crucial Ivy League matchups are on tap for Penn's soccer teams this weekend, both taking place in enemy territory. The women’s team will square off with Cornell (1-5-3) in Ithaca, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., while the men travel to New Haven, Conn. for a match with Yale (4-4-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
In its first conference matchup of the season, the women’s team earned a 1-1 draw against No. 16 Harvard (6-0-2). Meanwhile, the men’s team entered Chicago with three wins in a row, and left with four after a decisive 3-0 victory over DePaul (3-2-3).
Quakers to Watch: Stas Korzeniowski (Forward) — The sophomore has been a key cog in Penn’s offensive blitz this season, even recording a rare hat trick. Entering Saturday's match, Korzeniowski has recorded five goals and three assists across seven games in 2022.
Sara Readinger (Midfielder) — Part of a talented group of seniors for the women’s team, Readinger has been a perennially impactful player, starting 15 games both as a freshman and as a junior. She scored the lone goal against Harvard, which forced the Quakers' sixth draw of the season.
It will be a very busy weekend for Penn volleyball, with lots of traveling time and lots of competition. On Friday night, the team makes the trip to Harvard (1-8) for a 7 p.m. match, after which the Quakers head right back in action at Dartmouth (9-2) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Harvard matchup, in particular, provides the team with the chance to get its season back on track. The Red and Blue currently sit at 1-10, with a 3-1 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson their only win thus far. After being swept by Princeton (9-2) in their Ivy League opener last week, the Quakers are in desperate need of a triumph.
Quaker to Watch: Madison Risch (Outside Hitter) — Risch, a junior, had seven kills and a service ace in the team’s win over Fairleigh Dickinson. That statline was nearly identical against Princeton, when she tallied eight kills and one ace. Risch maintaining her consistent play will be a necessity for the Quakers to be competitive in conference play.