Three Up, Three Down | Penn women's soccer heads to Princeton
With two straight victories under its belt, Penn women’s soccer will look to keep its momentum up on the road against a tough Princeton squad this Saturday. However, with the Tigers (7-5-3, 3-2-1 Ivy) gunning for an Ivy League title and preparing for Senior Day, the Red and Blue (7-5-3, 2-3-1) will undoubtedly have their hands full. Let’s check out what’s up and what’s down for the Quakers as they get ready for their weekend matchup.
Increased consistency: Throughout the season, the Quakers have — as coach Darren Ambrose has noted — struggled mightily with finding consistent play on both ends of the pitch and bringing a consistent level of focus. However, with three strong showings in its past three matches, the Red and Blue seem to have partially overcome their youthful tendencies, playing some of their most complete soccer in the latter stages of the season. An Ivy title may be out of reach, but Penn will look to finish this season on a strong note and carry some newfound consistency into next season.
Defensive resurgence: For years, the Quakers have prided themselves on stellar defense, but Penn’s calling card was showing some cracks only a month ago. After two straight losses giving up at least three goals toward the middle of the season, some questions were raised about Penn’s normally stout backline. However, due in large part to some strong play from junior goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli, the Red and Blue have given up only five goals in their last seven games.
Seniors’ last hurrah: Although they were already sent out on top last weekend on their Senior Day, the Quakers’ seniors will play their final collegiate match against the Tigers. Haley Cooper, Kaitlyn Moore and company should have some extra motivation to finish their careers off on a winning note.
Ivy implications: The Quakers have certainly saved their best performances for last, but unfortunately for them, it will be too little and too late to put them in Ivy title contention. Meanwhile, the opposing Orange and Black sit at third place in the Ivies with a slim chance at a league title going into their Senior Day. Simply stated, the Quakers have far less to play for than the Tigers do.
Facing off against history: In a 5-3 victory over NC State earlier this week, Princeton senior back Lauren Lazo notched two assists to tie her program’s career record of 26. Going into what could potentially be her final collegiate match, she should have a little extra motivation to spark her team’s offense.
Tigers’ attack: In their past three matches, the Tigers have scored 11 goals. That’s as many as the Red and Blue have scored in their last ten. If the Quakers want to ruin their Ivy foes’ title hopes, they will need to find the back of the net a bit more than usual.