In a whirlwind of athletic endeavors, the Quakers demonstrated a mix of grit, determination, and passion, in Philadelphia and as the visitor, over this past weekend.
Both the men's and women's teams headed up to Boston to compete at the Battle in Beantown, hosted by Harvard. The women's squad finished second out of 16 teams with the top Quaker finisher being senior Maeve Stiles, who placed third overall with a 5k time of 17:06.9. Additionally, senior Liv Morganti came in sixth overall, sophomore Lily Murphy ended in 27th place, and senior Fabianna Szorenyi finished 29th.
The men were not so successful, ending in seventh out of 14 teams. However, junior Dylan Throop finished third overall with a time of 23:51.4 for the 8k course. Among other Quakers, junior Luke Johnson placed 14th overall, and sophomore Sahil Dodda ended in 30th.
Women's cross country also sent another group to compete at Lehigh's Paul Short Run, where the Quakers finished fourth place overall. Junior Anastasia Russell was the fastest in Red and Blue, finishing the 6k course 18th overall in 22:18.7. Not far behind her was senior Laura Baeyens and juniors Chloe Hassman and Arielle Breuninger, who finished 23rd, 38th, and 40th, respectively. With less than a month before Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, it seems that the Quakers are finding their form at the right time.
On Friday afternoon, Penn field hockey defeated Columbia 2-0, picking up its second Ivy win of the 2023 season. After a scoreless first half, senior forward/midfielder Allison Kuzyk struck first for the Quakers (4-5, 2-0 Ivy) with her seventh goal of the season coming late in the third quarter. Then, with just a few minutes left to play, sophomore forward Livia Loozen doubled Penn's lead.
Meanwhile, the Quaker defense held firm all game long, holding Columbia (3-7, 0-3) to just nine shots compared to Penn's 17. Senior goalkeeper Frederique Wollaert had seven saves in the contest, earning her first shutout of the season. After an incredibly tough non-conference schedule which saw Penn play three top-10 teams, the Quakers appear to be finding their stride as Ancient Eight play continues.
The men's team is poised for a critical test in the Hamptons Intercollegiate meeting this week. Hosted by Loyola Maryland on Monday and Tuesday, this contest promises high stakes. The Quakers will face off against some of the Ivy League's most formidable contenders, particularly the illustrious Big Three: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The event promises to be a showcase of skill, strategy, and determination, with each team eager to clinch the top spot. As preparations intensify, the Penn squad remains focused, drawing upon past experiences and rigorous training sessions.
While the men's team is preparing for competition, the women's team is celebrating a strong showing. The Red and Blue took second out of 12 teams at the Yale Fall Invitational last weekend, with junior Natalie Cao leading the way with a third-place finish among the field of 71 golfers.
A challenging encounter in Hanover, N.H. saw the Quakers face a setback, with a final score of 2-0 in favor of Dartmouth. The evening was marked by intense plays and spirited defense, with both teams pushing their limits. However, the Big Green managed to capitalize on a couple of crucial opportunities, sealing their victory. Despite this outcome, Penn's defense still showcased tenacity and coordination. The Quaker front allowed zero shots on goal during the first 45 minutes of action, and senior goalie Nick Christoffersen saved six attempts on goal on the day.
During the Ivy League home opener, the Quakers locked horns with Yale, resulting in a gripping 1-1 draw. Both teams, fueled by their victorious desires, displayed commendable skill and strategy. Neither the Quakers nor the Bulldogs could clinch the decisive goal, showcasing the evenly matched prowess on the field. The Quakers maintained their undefeated streak at home, a testament to their dominance on familiar grounds.
The Quakers experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in their recent matches. After basking in the afterglow of a commendable victory against Cornell, the team faced a tough challenge at West Point, falling 31-7 to the formidable Army side. The match against the Army saw the Quakers pushed to their limits, with the team amassing only 112 yards of total offense. As the 2023 campaign progresses, the current standing is a slightly somber 1-2 for the Quakers, whereas the Black Knights confidently stride forward with a 2-0 record.
The Quakers showcased their prowess at the ITA All-American Championships. Standout players like senior Iris Gallo, junior Gavriella Smith, and sophomore Maya Urata battled valiantly — leaving their mark at Cary Tennis Park. As their journey in this championship wrapped up, the focus now shifts to the imminent ITA Northeast Regionals, set to take place in New York City from Oct. 6-8. The anticipation is palpable, as everyone awaits the announcement regarding which Quakers will represent at this prestigious event.
The Quakers confronted daunting challenges over the weekend, culminating in two consecutive 3-0 losses in New Haven, Conn. and Providence, R.I. Both matches, against the Bulldogs and Bears, respectively, challenged the Quakers. Despite some moments of promise, including a seven-kill performance from freshman Zada Sanger, the team couldn't overpower their formidable opponents. With these outcomes, the Quakers' overall record for the season stands at 2-12. While these statistics might seem disheartening, it's essential to view them as part of the growth trajectory. Such hurdles offer opportunities for refinement of strategy and honing of skills.