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DiMauro denied in bid for second straight squash title

(03/05/97 10:00am)

For the members of the Penn women's squash team, the long ride back from Hanover, N.H., after competing in the Women's Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association championships was not as pleasant as expected. After a season of consistent play, the abruptness of tournament matches threw a few of the Quakers for a loop. During the event, the spotlight shined on the play of one person, returning champion Jessica DiMauro. Winner of the Constable Invitational, the top-seeded Penn sophomore was heavily favored to repeat, as she came into the tournament with a mark of 15-0 in all matches. DiMauro, afflicted with mononucleosis, knew the road ahead was tough with a talented field. Unfortunately for DiMauro, she realized that the only thing harder than winning Intercollegiates was winning it two years in a row. The weekend started out well for DiMauro, who breezed through the rounds of 64, 32 and 16. In the quarterfinals, DiMauro unexpectedly met Princeton's Blair Irwin, who defeated Trinity's top seed, Gail Davie. After defeating Irwin 10-8, 9-1, 9-2, DiMauro moved on to the semifinals for the rematch of last year's championship against Harvard's Ivy Pochoda. After defeating her two times already this year, the third one was equally a charm as DiMauro rolled on, winning in four games. "Against Ivy Pochoda, Jessica played some of her best squash of the tournament," Holleran said. "Jessica was really fired up and dominated that match. She felt that Ivy was more of a threat to her than Katherine in the final." Then on the final day of the tournament came the final match of the year. In the matchup of No. 1 versus No. 2, DiMauro found herself in a match against Princeton's top player, senior Katherine Johnson. Not only would it be Johnson's last career match but also her best. After losing to DiMauro in the finals of the Constable Invitational in January and again in their dual match in February, the tide turned in March. Johnson jumped all over the nervous DiMauro, defeating her in a five-game battle 9-1, 9-6, 4-9, 5-9, 9-4. "I was not up for the match," DiMauro said. "I was so relieved that I had beaten Ivy that I had not paid attention that I still had to play another match. I can't figure it out." Also along for the ride was freshman Katie Patrick, who compiled a 12-0 record while playing in the second spot for the Quakers this year. Patrick also won her matches in the rounds of 64 and 32. After defeating Yale's Edie Sonne 9-6, 9-1, 3-9, 9-6, Patrick met Lindsay Wilbur of Harvard. During the five-game match, Patrick kept trying to come back, but in the end it was too late. For the tournament, Patrick finished in the 13-through-16 grouping. "The match I lost to Wyant was a mental lapse," Patrick said. "I started thinking too many things and got nervous and lost. After that it was hard to get going again." The tournament ended sophomore Dana Lipson's year on a positive note. In the round of 16, Lipson met up with her rival, Princeton's Elise O'Connell. O'Connell outfought Lipson, winning 9-7, 9-6, 9-4. Moving into the consolation bracket, Lipson won two matches, placing her in a match against Davie. Davie quickly put ended Lipson's tournament. "I have always had an ongoing thing with O'Connell since juniors, so I was excited to play her," Lipson said. "When I played Marshall I wasn't nervous and could hit my drop shots. Against Davie it took me too long to get into it." Also representing the Quakers at the tournament were sophomore Lindsay Moss and freshman Patti Lin. Moss improved on last year's performance winning her first match. Following her victory, Moss lost to Brown's Devon Kennedy and then again to Yale's Marion Ringel. Lin lost her first match to Dartmouth's Jenny Johnson, but came back to defeat Franklin and Marshall's Kate Crimi in consolations. Middlebury's No. 1 Betsy Dripps ended Lin's weekend, defeating her 9-5, 9-4, 9-0.

M. Lax starts rivalry with St. Joe's with win

(03/03/97 10:00am)

In the first-ever meeting between the Quakers and the Hawks, Penn easily won, 20-11, despite being down 4-2 early in the first quarter. penn led 15-5 at the half. The Penn men's lacrosse team started the season on a positive note Saturday, defeating the crosstown rivals St. Joseph's, 20-11. The first-ever meeting between the two teams started as a heated battle, but Penn (1-0) showed the younger Hawks (0-1) how Ivy League lacrosse is played. The victory also proved to be a milestone, as Penn coach Marc Van Arsdale recorded his first win as a head coach. The Quakers started the afternoon on the wrong foot, finding themselves down 4-2 to the Hawks only 5:33 into the contest. After making the mental adjustments, Penn regained composure and spent the rest of the first half putting the game out of reach. Starting with two goals by freshman Peter Janney and another goal by senior Jon Cusson, the Quakers took a lead they never gave up. "We weren't ready for the burst of enthusiasm and energy that St. Joe's had," Van Arsdale said. "We were a little asleep defensively. St. Joe's scoring four quick ones might have been a wake-up call to us." With an onslaught of goals by Janney, Cusson, junior John Ward, junior Mike Burka, senior Al Patton and senior Peter McGill, the Quakers made an astounding 12-0 run, giving Penn a 14-4 advantage. While Penn's offense scored on almost every opportunity it had, the defense stood strong keeping the momentum for almost fifteen minutes. St. Joe's did not again show signs of life until freshman Corey Comen scored with 52 seconds left in the half, sending the two teams into the locker rooms with the Quakers leading 14-5. "It was momentum," St. Joseph's coach Pat Dennin. "At one time we had five to six guys out there that were freshmen. We had mental breakdowns. Being the first game of the season, we had a lot to work on. Penn is the type of team that is going to show you your weaknesses." A big advantage the Quakers had in the run was senior leadership in the midfield from Patton and McGill, who not only assisted, but scored. Van Arsdale felt the hustle in getting to the ground balls, Penn receiving 10 to St. Joseph's four in the second quarter, kept the ball in the Quakers' offensive half. With the solid play of the attackmen, the Quakers kept the speed of the game in their hands. "We bounced back right away," said Cusson, who led the Red and Blue with six goals and four assists. "We got settled into our offense. We realized we could take these guys. We started moving the ball through our attack and having our middies cut. Once we got going, we just took off." Trying to come back in the second half, the Hawks' effort proved to no avail. Penn's defense shut down St. Joe's attacking core of Chris McIsaac, Drew Foley and Bill Oaks, who helped give St. Joe's the early lead. The back-and-forth play of the anti-climactic second half added six points to each team's halftime score. "We were all saying in the locker room that it was not a pretty win," Penn sophomore Bart Hacking said. "It is still a win, doesn't matter how you do it. It is good to get a win under our belt and go on from there. Coach knows what we did wrong and is not going to harp on it." The game was an example of two teams working through early-season kinks. Dennin remarked on the stature Van Arsdale has brought with him to the Penn program. For the Hawks, the competition only gets easier. Penn, wishing it could say the same thing, knows the season has yet to begin.

M. Lax starts rivalry with St. Joe's with win

(03/03/97 10:00am)

In the first-ever meeting between the Quakers and the Hawks, Penn easily won, 20-11, despite being down 4-2 early in the first quarter. Penn led 15-5 at the half. The Penn men's lacrosse team started the season on a positive note Saturday, defeating the crosstown rivals St. Joseph's, 20-11. The first-ever meeting between the two teams started as a heated battle, but Penn (1-0) showed the younger Hawks (0-1) how Ivy League lacrosse is played. The victory also proved to be a milestone, as Penn coach Marc Van Arsdale recorded his first win as a head coach. The Quakers started the afternoon on the wrong foot, finding themselves down 4-2 to the Hawks only 5:33 into the contest. After making the mental adjustments, Penn regained composure and spent the rest of the first half putting the game out of reach. Starting with two goals by freshman Peter Janney and another goal by senior Jon Cusson, the Quakers took a lead they never gave up. "We weren't ready for the burst of enthusiasm and energy that St. Joe's had," Van Arsdale said. "We were a little asleep defensively. St. Joe's scoring four quick ones might have been a wake-up call to us." With an onslaught of goals by Janney, Cusson, junior John Ward, junior Mike Burka, senior Al Patton and senior Peter McGill, the Quakers made an astounding 12-0 run, giving Penn a 14-4 advantage. While Penn's offense scored on almost every opportunity it had, the defense stood strong keeping the momentum for almost fifteen minutes. St. Joe's did not again show signs of life until freshman Corey Comen scored with 52 seconds left in the half, sending the two teams into the locker rooms with the Quakers leading 14-5. "It was momentum," St. Joseph's coach Pat Dennin. "At one time we had five to six guys out there that were freshmen. We had mental breakdowns. Being the first game of the season, we had a lot to work on. Penn is the type of team that is going to show you your weaknesses." A big advantage the Quakers had in the run was senior leadership in the midfield from Patton and McGill, who not only assisted, but scored. Van Arsdale felt the hustle in getting to the ground balls, Penn receiving 10 to St. Joseph's four in the second quarter, kept the ball in the Quakers' offensive half. With the solid play of the attackmen, the Quakers kept the speed of the game in their hands. "We bounced back right away," said Cusson, who led the Red and Blue with six goals and four assists. "We got settled into our offense. We realized we could take these guys. We started moving the ball through our attack and having our middies cut. Once we got going, we just took off." Trying to come back in the second half, the Hawks' effort proved to no avail. Penn's defense shut down St. Joe's attacking core of Chris McIsaac, Drew Foley and Bill Oaks, who helped give St. Joe's the early lead. The back-and-forth play of the anti-climactic second half added six points to each team's halftime score. "We were all saying in the locker room that it was not a pretty win," Penn sophomore Bart Hacking said. "It is still a win, doesn't matter how you do it. It is good to get a win under our belt and go on from there. Coach knows what we did wrong and is not going to harp on it." The game was an example of two teams working through early-season kinks. Dennin remarked on the stature Van Arsdale has brought with him to the Penn program. For the Hawks, the competition only gets easier. Penn, wishing it could say the same thing, knows the season has yet to begin.

MEN'S LACROSEE SEASON PREVIEW: Van Arsdale era to begin for M. Lacrosse

(02/28/97 10:00am)

The new era has begun. As the Penn men's lacrosse team hosts St. Joseph's on Franklin Field tomorrow at 2 p.m., they will try to erase the memories of the past few years and start again. After finishing the last two years without a win in the Ivy League and last season garnering an overall record of 4-10, the Quakers hope to finally make a stir in the league and gain some recognition. The man held responsible for initiating this resurgence is first-year coach Marc Van Arsdale, who replaced Terry Corcoran in July. Van Arsdale brings numerous experiences. A player and assistant coach at Hobart which included being a part of seven Division III championship teams, Van Arsdale spent the past six years as an assistant coach to Dom Starsia at Virginia, last year's NCAA runner-up. Liking what he sees so far, Van Arsdale will try to make Penn, which advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1988, a force in the Ivy League once more. "I think the strongest things that I can bring from the past is an attitude of expecting success and not tolerating things that won't get us there," Van Arsdale said. "I have been pleased with the way the guys have asserted themselves to the commitment level that it takes to be successful. I think that this team is further ahead than last year's." Van Arsdale has brought with him his style of fast-paced attacking. Although the Red and Blue are not as talented as the Cavaliers Van Arsdale coached last year, by using everyone's strengths the Quakers should make a large offensive improvement. "Coach Van is a real fired-up guy," said Penn senior attackman Jon Cusson, who scored 25 goals and registered 11 assists for 36 points a year ago. "He gives us a lot of freedom on the field. He is an attack-oriented coach and I am an attack-oriented player, so he is a great guy to have." Also expected to make an impact offensively are junior John Ward, the leading scorer in 1996 with 52 points, and returning midfielders Joe Mauro (20 points). Face-off specialist Al Patton also has a niche for Penn. A key to any Quakers revival will be their a improvement on defense. After giving up last year an eight-goal lead to Cornell and a six-goal lead to Dartmouth, defense will have to be much more concrete. "Those defensive breakdowns were killing us," said Penn senior midfielder Ed Hanover, one of four Quakers who has played under three coaches, G.W. Mix, Corcoran, and now Van Arsdale. "This year the defense has stepped up and assumed the leadership position for the team. Just to keep teams from scoring goals takes a load off the offense." With one of the toughest schedules in the nation, including nationally ranked Syracuse, Navy and the two teams in last year's NCAA finals, Princeton and Virginia, wins might again be a scarce commodity for Penn. The only team that Penn defeated last year that is again on the schedule is Lafayette, who allowed and NCAA season-high 25 goals in falling to the Quakers. Being a part of a conference that typically sends at least two or three teams to the NCAA tournament makes it that much harder to gain victories. The meeting with St. Joseph's will mark the first between the two schools. With the Hawks having only a 5-year-old program and 4-11 record last year, the Quakers should start the season on a positive note. Led by attackers Bill Oaks, Chris McIsaac and Drew Foley, the Hawks will try to outscore Penn in what looks to be a high-scoring contest. "They are a young team," Van Arsdale said. "We probably are more talented than them. If we go out and take care of our business the way we should, the we won't need to worry about what St. Joe's is doing." Both Cusson and Hanover are surprised by the Penn team's great enthusiasm. With a new atmosphere at Penn has come a new mentality to the lacrosse program. Although Van Arsdale cannot assure the success of his team, the Quakers are behind him 100 percent.

DiMauro tries to repeat

(02/27/97 10:00am)

The Penn sophomore will defend her squash national title. As the final weekend of the 1996-97 Penn women's squash season approaches, a few selected members of the team are traveling today up to Hanover, N.H., the site of the Women's Intercollegiate Squash Invitational. The competition consists of the top 64 women's intercollegiate squash players. Last year, as a freshman, Jessica DiMauro won the tournament. DiMauro, a player with great composure, will defend her crown while fighting her season-long bout with mononucleosis. She does feel the pressure but is also confident in that she can handle any that may come along. "Last year I really did not have any pressure, because I had never won it before," DiMauro said. "I just went out there and played everyone and ended up winning. This year everyone is just expecting me to win. My dad is coming with people from home to watch. There is a lot of commotion and a lot of pressure." Along with DiMauro, freshman Katie Patrick, sophomore Dana Lipson and sophomore Lindsay Moss will also be competing in the tournament. Penn freshman Patti Lin is questionable for the tournament due to personal circumstances. The Quakers will be sending one of the five most numerous delegations to Dartmouth. DiMauro, a Toronto, Canada native, is the favorite to win after finishing the season with a 15-0 mark. DiMauro knows that her competition will be tough. In the quarterfinals, she will probably face Gail Davie of Trinity, already a two-time casualty of DiMauro this year. The semifinals is anticipated to be a rematch of last year's championship match, as DiMauro will probably play Harvard's top seed, Ivy Pochoda, who also lost twice this year to DiMauro. In the finals, DiMauro will most likely match up against Princeton's top seed Katherine Johnson. Johnson too has already lost twice to DiMauro this year, once at the Constable Invitational and the other in their regular-season match-up. Penn coach Demer Holleran expects both Patrick and Lipson to win quite a few matches. Patrick, seeded in the fourth through eighth grouping, should at least make it to the quarterfinals, where she will match up against the No. 4 seed, Harriet Ells of Amherst. Patrick has never played Ells before, and Holleran feels the match will be very exciting. Lipson is seeded in the ninth through 16th grouping. Her toughest match will come against Princeton's Elise O'Connell. Although the record from their previous meetings is split, O'Connell is favored because of notching the win in their last meeting. "It has always really tough between us," Lipson said. "The series has gone back and forth. It just depends who wants it more. Before the match I have to get psyched up." After a rough time last year, Moss is hoping to improve. Starting with a match against Yale's No. 7 player Rebecca Birch, her competition will be very tight. Holleran hopes that Lin, a first timer at the tourney, will pick up a few wins and enjoy her experience. Although the tournament does not affect the team rankings, the winner automatically earns player of the year honors. The rest of the finishes are used in conjunction with each player's regular season totals in selecting first- and second-team All-Americans. With each grouping receiving 10 players, Holleran is confident that both Patrick and DiMauro will earn first -team honors. Holleran feels that with a strong showing at Intercollegiates, Lipson will again place herself on the second team squad. "It is a great honor to be invited to Intercollegiates," Holleran said. "If you don't go you cannot get ranked All-American. It is an opportunity to end the season in style. For the ones who have a chance to go far in the tournament, it is important to remember that it is a lot of matches in just a three day period. It is hard to win all of those. Focus and concentration are a big part of it" Although the team competition has ended for the season, one of the players' most intense parts of the season is just beginning. With a solid squad of players, the Quakers hope to make a lot of noise up in Dartmouth. Holleran feels confident in DiMauro's ability to bring the top trophy back to Penn.

W. Squash close season with win over Trinity

(02/24/97 10:00am)

This past weekend, the Penn women's squash team closed the door on their 1996-97 squash season in style by defeating Trinity, 5-4. The victory solidified the Quakers' (7-2) claim of being the third-best team in the nation by turning back the previously sixth-ranked Bantams (11-5). It was Penn's last dual match of the year and captain Elissa Helt's last match at the Ringe Courts. The victory did not come as a surprise to Penn, as they had defeated Trinity last weekend at the Howe Cup Invitational, 6-3. The match started out similarly for the Quakers with Jessica DiMauro, Katie Patrick and Lindsay Moss each racking up victories. It was the end of an amazing dual-match year for both No. 1 DiMauro and No. 2 Patrick, who did not lose one match in their respective spots all year. As the matches dwindled down, both Dana Lipson and Paige Kollock defeated their opponents to give Penn the win. "I thought Paige acquitted herself very well in winning her match," Penn assistant coach Titus Cranch said. "Her opponent is a good player. I thought if anybody deserved a medal for pulling it out for Penn today it was Paige." Unfortunately for Penn, the victory was overshadowed by the final match of the afternoon. As Helt walked on her home court as a competitor for the final time in her career, she already knew that her team had won the match. For five grueling games, Helt and Trinity's Sarah Burbank battled. Helt took the second and third games. Burbank, however, won the first, fourth and fifth games, spoiling Helt's farewell. "Elissa has never been able to countenance defeat with a smile," Cranch said. "My guess is that she is going to remember this one for a while and feel disappointed, but then look back over her career, knowing that she did a good job for Penn and was a good captain. I hope that is the way she will remember her Penn career, because she has been essential to the success of this team." For Helt, it marks the end to an illustrious career as the first player to complete all four years playing under Penn head coach Demer Holleran. Helt has seen the program grow from 10th her freshman year to third-place this year. She has experienced the transformation of the game once played on a narrow court to the current international wide-court dimensions. The senior has witnessed the coming and going of many great Penn players and friends. Starting with four other girls as a freshman, Helt was the only one that survived the whole ride. Her first year, Helt idolized former captain Aimee Lagorce for her on-court skills and personable demeanor. Last year, many of Helt's close friends on the team graduated including, former captains Jenna Bertocchi, Katy Textor and Lissa Hunsicker. Through it all, Helt has dramatically improved her game every year. "She has become a much smarter player on court," Holleran said. "She does not like to lose. The fact that she is incredibly fast, gets to so many balls and never gets tired is very intimidating to her opponents." As the only senior on a team without any juniors, Helt stepped up and motivated the young team to play maturely and with passion. Her come-from-behind victory in the deciding match this season against Dartmouth exemplified her never-give-up mentality. "When it was four-all and she was on court last, I was not worried that we were going to lose," DiMauro said. "She is so determined when she is on court last and the crowd is pushing her on." Last year's match against Trinity was the most cherished experience of Helt's career. After being down two games in the deciding match, Helt pulled it together to defeat the Bantams' Betsy Paluck. Avoiding several match points, Helt and Penn came away with the victory. Helt's final match as a Quaker will come next weekend at the Women's Intercollegiate Championships. "I am a little sad," Helt said. "I like the team, and I like playing squash. I am kind of happy. I am sick of practicing everyday. It is a long season, and I have been here for four years and that is a long time."

W.Squash to close dual-meet season

(02/21/97 10:00am)

Tomorrow, the Penn women's squash team will end its 1996-97 season when they take on Trinity. The nationally third-ranked Quakers (6-2) host the sixth-ranked Bantams (11-4), a team they beat last weekend at the Howe Cup Invitational, 6-3. Although not a conference match, Trinity has always been a rival of Penn's. Last year, the Quakers eked one out, as they defeated the Bantams, 5-4. In the deciding match, current Quakers captain Elissa Helt came back against Betsy Paluck from a two-game deficit to achieve victory. Coming in after losing their last two matches at the Howe Cup, the Quakers hope to get back on the right track. The match is very important for the Quakers, who hope to solidify their end-of-the-year ranking. "The team has to come to the match focused on winning," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "They have to focus on winning the match and not depending on someone else to do it. Sometimes if you beat a team, you are a little bit complacent the next time you play them. If we lose, I am sure our ranking will fall." The match will mark senior Ellisa Helt's last home match as a Quaker. Her team hopes to send her out on a positive note.

Predictable finish for W. Squash

(02/19/97 10:00am)

The Quakers won their first two matches before dropping two at the Howe Cup in Princeton, N.J. They went, they saw, they finished respectably. At the end of their roller coaster season, the Penn women's squash team put together a weekend of solid play, finishing fourth at the Howe Cup Invitational. Seeded in the highest division, the Quakers went 2-2, winning their first two matches before dropping their last two. After traveling up to New Haven, Conn., Thursday, the Quakers kept rolling on Friday, winning their first two matches. The Quakers easily defeated Trinity, 6-3 -- the only team in Penn's division that the Red and Blue had not previously played. Later that afternoon, Penn met up with Brown. The Quakers dismantled the Bears for the second time this season, 7-2. For the Quakers, the two wins were a relief. Coming into the tournament last year in a similar predicament, their two losses in the round-robin put them in a playoff for fifth place, not for third like they had hoped. On Saturday, finishing its round-robin play, Penn, without top-seeded sophomore Jessica DiMauro, took the court against Princeton. After being diagnosed with mononucleosis, DiMauro, the reigning intercollegiate champion, sat out the match against the Tigers in order to rest up for the team's match on Sunday. "After Friday, we basically decided that Saturday we were very likely to lose to Princeton," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "We had lost to them 7-2 that week. Jessica DiMauro was very sick. She had a pulled muscle. She had been diagnosed with mono two days before, and she was really exhausted. We decided that it made sense to rest her and take the pressure off everybody to focus on the match with Yale." Bumping each player on the Quakers side up one spot, the team fell 9-0 to Princeton, the runners-up of the tournament, losing to Harvard in the championship, 5-4. In filling in for DiMauro, freshman Katie Patrick fell to the Tigers' top seed, Katherine Johnson. After winning the first game 9-7, Patrick's concentration was ruined by the sound of the fire alarm, which delayed her match 45 minutes, allowing Johnson time to recover and get back into the match. The loss put the Quakers in the fight for third place with Yale. Coming into the tournament, Holleran felt that with the selection of their grouping, they would find themselves Sunday matching up against the Elis for third place. "It was an intense weekend," Patrick said. "For most of the weekend, we focused in on Sunday. We knew we were not going to beat Princeton, and we were glad when we beat Brown which secured our place in the top four." Earlier in the season, the two teams met, and the Quakers won, 5-4. However, with the addition of Katherine Hennessey filling in the fifth spot for the Elis, the Quakers did not match up as well, losing 6-3. Besides the addition of Hennessey, Holleran also felt that Yale held the upperhand in having the home court advantage. "We felt that our best chance was in the top of the lineup and the bottom of the lineup," Holleran said. "Our hope was to win the five matches from the top three and the bottom three. Yale was a lot tougher that day. To play your fourth match in three days is pretty exhausting. I think as a team for the future, we have to think about how to mentally and physically be better prepared for the last day of a tournament." For the Quakers, the wins came from DiMauro, Patrick and freshman Patti Lin. DiMauro finished the tournament undefeated, beating Yale's Loren Smith, 3-1. Similarly, Patrick remained undefeated as the second seed by blanking the Yale's Priscilla Marshall, 3-0. Lin also battle strong in the fight for third place defeating Yale's Sarah Fayen, 3-1. "It was there, but we were not as psyched as they were," Lin said. "I thought we were all into the game, but Yale was more so. We played well, but Yale was stronger." For a young team experiencing the grueling nature of the Howe Cup, playing four matches in one weekend provides a different atmosphere than the regular season. Although Penn was not able to equal their regular-season ranking of third, the Quakers fought hard. Holleran, however, feels with a young team, the future looks bright.

Penn gets squashed

(02/13/97 10:00am)

With the feeling of the season coming to a close, the Penn women's squash team failed once again to break the grip of the Tigers. The Quakers (6-2, 3-2 Ivy League) lost their final Ivy League match of the season, 7-2, to the second-ranked team in the nation, Princeton (8-1, 5-1). Penn's victories came from its top two seeds, sophomore Jessica DiMauro and freshman Katie Patrick. Fighting through her fever, DiMauro defeated Princeton senior Katherine Johnson, 3-1. Patrick, fighting off an injured knee, had little problem in her match, as she blanked Princeton sophomore Elise O'Connell, 3-0. For the rest of the team, things did not go as well. Although the Quakers had over a week to prepare for the match, sophomore Lindsay Moss felt the lack of focus during warm-ups hurt the the Quakers during match time. "Throughout the team, most of us tried our best," Penn freshman Paige Kollock said. "We were a little bit outmatched. It has been a long season. People are starting to get distracted, because we have not had a break from squash in a while." The next test for the nationally third-ranked Quakers comes this weekend as the team travels to Yale for the Howe Cup Invitational, the national championship tournament. The Quakers are hoping to improve, as last year's team came into the tournament with similar stature to only finish fifth. "We work all season for this," Moss said. "It is one weekend to get a ranking. The Howe Cup is a separate ranking from the rest of the season." The 27-school invitational is split into four levels. In the top level, the Quakers will first play a round-robin format Friday and Saturday in a pool consisting of Trinity, Brown and Princeton. The top team from that pool plays the top team from the other pool for first place, the second teams play for third place, etc. Penn coach Demer Holleran is pleased with the draw. Although they lost to Princeton on Tuesday, the Quakers easily defeated Brown 9-0 in December and feel confident in their match against Trinity. Holleran expects her team to meet Yale Sunday in the playoff for third. Having already defeated the Elis this year, the Quakers know they have the upper hand in the match. However, Yale's lineup has changed, giving them a possible advantage. "My hope is that the team will at least finish third, which means probably beating Yale," Holleran said. "It will be difficult. They have an additional person since the last time we played them. There is a whole lot of energy surrounding the Howe Cup. I think they will feel the energy and hopefully rise to the occasion." With a third-place finish in the regular season and Ivy League polls, the Quakers showed that last year's success was not a fluke. However, their attempt to distinguish themselves will be evident in this weekend's tournament performance.

A tough road to Princeton

(02/11/97 10:00am)

The women's squash team heads to Princeton with a much different team than last year's squad. In the race for second place in the Ivy League, the Penn women's squash team finds itself traveling to a heated dual match today against its arch-nemesis, Princeton. In what should be one of their closest matches of the year, the Quakers (6-1, 3-1 Ivy League) hope to avenge a 7-2 dual match loss to the Tigers (7-1, 4-1) last year. A victory would give Penn its best Ivy League finish in school history. After going 1-1 two weekends ago, losing to Harvard and then coming back to defeat Dartmouth, the Quakers have spent the past nine days preparing for Princeton and the Howe Cup Invitational coming up this weekend. Princeton is coming into the match after defeating Yale this weekend 8-1. Earlier in the year, Penn narrowly defeated the Elis 5-4. Although Princeton is ranked second in the national coaches poll, one place in front of Penn, with so many new faces on both sides of the court this year, the outcome is unpredictable. Last year in the Howe Cup, Princeton defeated the Quakers only 5-4, with three of the four Quakers that recorded those wins returning. This year, both teams' losses came against Harvard, the Quakers lost 7-2 while the Tigers were only defeated 5-4. "We thought we were going to get blown away by Princeton, but now we have a little hope, knowing Harvard beat them," Penn freshman Katie Patrick said. "It will be tough to beat them, but I think we can at least give them a run." With the importance of the upcoming match against Princeton and the tournament this weekend, Penn coach Demer Holleran met with the players and coaches Wednesday to discuss things the team needed to improve during the remainder of the season. "I think part of the reason to talk about the goals and some of the things we want to work on is to re-emphasize practicing with heart," Holleran said. "The way you practice often indicates how you are going to play." The players, realizing the need for improvement, felt the talk helped center their focus on the late-season stretch, especially in today's match against Princeton. "She mentioned something about each and every one of us," Quakers sophomore Dana Lipson said. "We did not need a fluffy talk, we needed someone to come down on us and tell us what to fix, no beating around the bush anymore. Everyone is more disciplined now." Calling a mandatory practice on Sunday, Holleran hopes that the Quakers will be able to make all of the changes she suggested. With only three weeks left in the season, including the Howe Cup this weekend and the intercollegiate championships at the end of the month, the Quakers have little room for error. "The team has been doing a pretty good job of rising to the occasion," Holleran said. "They have been winning most of their matches. Hopefully they can rise to the occasion and really play their best squash."

Helt's late win carries W. Squash over Big Green

(02/03/97 10:00am)

Squash alumni gathered to support the Quakers. For the people that think squash can not inspire passions, ask Elissa Helt, captain of the Penn women's squash team. Yesterday, Helt ended the weekend on a winning note for the Quakers in front of the Penn alumni crowd, as she came back from one game down to beat Dartmouth freshman Lindsey Rhoads in a grueling four-game match, 5-9, 9-2, 9-5, 9-3. Similar to last year's result, the win gave Penn (6-1, 3-1 Ivy League) a 5-4 victory over Dartmouth (7-3, 1-3). The morning started out with an onslaught of Quakers wins, including three of the first four that finished. However, Dartmouth's depth at the bottom of the lineup pulled the match back to 4-4, setting the stage for the Helt and Rhoads showdown. However, neither player knew that her match would be the decisive one. Although Helt did not realize the significance of her match at the time, her experience and determination allowed her to come back and ruin the Big Green's chances of an upset. "I think Elissa is one of the most competitive people I have met," Holleran said. "She plays extremely well when everyone is watching and the pressure is on." Earlier yesterday morning, a trio of Penn sophomores -- Jessica DiMauro, Dana Lipson, Lindsay Moss -- and freshman Katie Patrick all won their matches. DiMauro and Patrick continued their dual-match undefeated streaks by knocking off their opponents in straight sets. Lipson came out in a flurry, shutting out Jenny Johnson in the first two games, allowing her only five total points (all in the last game). After a season of ups and downs, including a loss the day before, Lipson hopes the win will give her a fresh start. "I was in a mind slump," Lipson said. "My sister helped me get out of it. She said to forget about everything on your mind and just think about playing squash and being a competitor on the squash court." In a key early match, Moss turned her game around to come back from a two-game deficit to Dartmouth junior Jen Karlen, winning in five games, 8-10, 6-9, 9-5, 10-8, 9-4. Holleran regarded Moss as a fighter after she stayed in the match and turned back five points that would have given Karlen the win. For Penn, the win yesterday came after their first defeat Saturday by the defending national champions, Harvard (4-0, 3-0). The 7-2 defeat was also the best the Quakers had fared against the Crimson in over a decade. Last year's Penn captain and second-team All-American recipient Lissa Hunsicker was surprised by the exciting play of her former teammates. "I think they played really well," Hunsicker said. "Harvard is untouchable. Penn's team is one of the only two teams that can touch Harvard. Even getting two or three matches off Harvard is huge." The wins for the Quakers came again for DiMauro and Patrick. Although it took DiMauro four games to defeat Harvard top seed Ivy Pochoda, she never lost control of the match. The Crimson's Stephanie Teaford gave Patrick a run for it as the match lasted five games, but Patrick came out on top. Unlike previous years, Harvard coach Bill Doyle went through large efforts in preparing his team for Saturday's match. Doyle remembered the surprise the Quakers gave him last year and did not want to take any risks this year. "I was expecting Penn to be really tough," Doyle said. "We had been looking forward to the weekend for a long time. Coming in if we did not train properly, we were going to have a rough time."

Home Ivy matches on tap for W. Squash

(01/31/97 10:00am)

Harvard and Dartmouth show up in Philadelphia for the Quakers' first home Ivy weekend of the season. In years to come, when the Penn women's squash team looks back on their 1996-97 season, they will really be looking back on the result of this coming weekend. Coming into the weekend undefeated and ranked third in both the nation and the Ivy League, the Quakers have a lot on the line. The Ivy League showdown starts Saturday at Penn's Ringe Squash Courts, as the Quakers (5-0, 2-0 Ivy League) face off against Harvard (3-0, 2-0) and continues Sunday as Penn takes on Dartmouth (8-1, 1-1). After finishing last weekend with two consecutive 9-0 wins against Amherst and Williams, the Quakers have built up momentum that should carry into the weekend. Against Amherst, Penn's top seed, sophomore Jessica DiMauro, defeated Harriet Ells (3-0). During their previous meeting at the Constable Invitational, which took place over the break, Ells became the first player to take a game from DiMauro this year. "If you looked at the scores over the matches, it looks like we pretty much killed both teams," said Penn sophomore Amanda Bradford, the No. 8 seed. "Basically, we had really good matches. We did not get to cocky beforehand. We went into it seeing what we could do." The task for the Quakers this weekend is two-fold. Penn has a chance to defeat Harvard, a team against whom the Quakers have only won one individual match out of the 90 that have been played in their dual competions in the past decade, including a 9-0 lost last year. "The key point in trying to beat Harvard is getting totally psyched up and going for it," Quakers head coach Demer Holleran said. "We have to play above ourselves. Really good players save their best playing for competition. If our team is willing to rise to the occasion, then we have a chance to beat them." Last year the Quakers slipped by the Big Green with a 5-4 win in their dual match meeting only to fall later in the season at the Howe Cup team championship. This year the teams have played a few common opponents. Although both teams decisively defeated Amherst, Dartmouth's only loss came to Yale, a team Penn beat 5-4. Although Penn is favored to defeat Dartmouth, Holleran feels that the match against Dartmouth will have a greater impact on their season. With a loss Penn could fall out of third-position in the nation. "From my perspective as a coach, I want the team to focus on defeating Dartmouth because that secures our ranking," Holleran said. "Dartmouth has tremendous depth. They always are fighters. They never quit. They look like they would be easy to beat but never are." With a season that has sporadic scheduling of dual matches, it will be important for the Quakers to be ready. "Right now we are really focusing," Bradford said. "All of the alumni are coming back. We are going to have more people on the squash courts than we have ever had. These are the two biggest matches of the season."

W. Squash imports another superfrosh

(01/23/97 10:00am)

Graduating four of the top nine players after last season's unprecedented success, it seemed impossible that the Penn women's squash team would be in contention for the national title. Enter Katie Patrick. Filling the space left by last year's captain and No. 2 player, Lissa Hunsicker, Patrick has stepped into the spotlight and given the Quakers an extra boost in their competitions. In only a couple of months, the top-ranked North American women's junior (18-and-under) player has enjoyed great success at the collegiate level. Patrick, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, has played competitive squash since she was eight. After being taught how to play the game by her father, she came under the tutelage of a local coach, Robin Prentice. An athlete by nature, Patrick devotes herself to solely competing in squash, but she still participates in tennis, golf, and snowboarding. Last year, Patrick won both the Canadian Junior Open and the United States Junior Open tournaments. In addition, she will be join the Canadian national women's junior team this summer, as she will compete in the World Cup which takes place in Brazil. She hopes to better her placing from two years ago when she finished in the top 32. Currently the No. 10 woman Canadian squash player, her highest goal -- besides winning the Intercollegiate Championships -- is competing in the Olympics if squash is ever made an Olympic sport. Patrick became interested in the school her senior year while playing in the U.S. national tournament hosted by Penn. With aspirations in business, Patrick was turned on to Penn after learning about the Wharton School, to which she was accepted early. After being mentioned in Penn president Judith Rodin's address to the Class of 2000, Patrick feels confident in her decision to come to West Philly. Penn head coach Demer Holleran was overjoyed when she heard about Patrick's decision to come to Penn. After learning about her through sophomore Jessica DiMauro, another Canadian, Holleran was confident that Patrick's would be a big contribution to the team, giving her the distinction of being the Quakers squash program's second-best recruit ever. "She works quite hard," Holleran said. "She had a good work ethic. She is strong physically and really pushes herself. She is a good leader and makes an effort with her teammates." In only two months, the women's squash collegiate community has felt the presence of Patrick. She has been victorious in all of her dual matches, which include Franklin & Marshall, Yale and Brown. Her straight set victory against her opponent from Yale was crucial, as Penn won 5-4. "The most memorable experience I have had was when we beat Yale," Patrick said. "I played well, but I think it was more important that the whole team played well. We had lost to them in the preseason, 6-3. It was a good win." During the break, Patrick participated in the Constable Invitation, held at Princeton, which featured the top 20 women's collegiate squash players. In playing her best match of the season, Patrick defeated Brown's top player, Devon Kennedy, 3-1. This led to her fifth-place finish, as she lost to the No. 1 from Yale, Ivy Pochoda. "Earlier in the year, she was not pushing herself quite as hard as she had to," Holleran said. "She played in the Constable Invitational a couple weeks ago and really pushed herself hard, ran well, and played to her potential. The match with Kennedy was her most impressive match this season." Patrick feels Holleran has improved her game by pushing her and working with her on the court. Although she had played squash for many years, Patrick feels that playing in college has changed her game. "I think it has changed a lot," Patrick said. "In juniors, I would have one or two tough matches every year. Here you have to be ready for almost match, because the players are at a higher level. It has improved my mental focus." With the opportunity of playing at the No. 1 seed at most other universities, Patrick enjoys playing behind teammate DiMauro, the top intercollegiate player. DiMauro enjoys being on the team with Patrick and also feels that competing with her during practice helps both of their games. "It is good to have someone who can do the drills and push me," DiMauro said. "She is a freshman, but you would never know it. She is more vocal than most of the people on the team. She adds a lot to the team. When we travel, she is a lot of fun. She is serious when she has to be, but also she can be a lot of fun." Patrick attributes her aggressive style to having to play against men as she grew up while crediting her success to her superior fitness and placement strategy. Holleran believes her strengths include her strong ground strokes and volleys, but she lacks in shot making ability and needs to be more focused in the matches. Off the court, Patrick is respected by many of her teammates, not only for her ability, but also for her demeanor. "She has a strong personality," freshman Paige Kollock said. "She is willful and determined. It shows in her game. Her attitude on and off the court are the same." With her new responsibility, Patrick hopes to respond well in the team's upcoming Ivy League matches against Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth. Patrick knows the team is capable of improving on last year's third-place finish in the Ivy League. Patrick spends a lot of her time preparing for the WISRA's which take place next month. After finishing well at the Constable invite, Patrick hopes she can finish in the top three, while hoping to again improve her team's overall ranking of third. "Since our team is made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores, we will be strong in the future," Patrick said. "It is a young team, so we have lots of time for improvement. I think we have some good recruits coming in next year, too. In my junior and senior year, I think we have a shot at being No. 1."

W. Squash spends break north of the border

(01/14/97 10:00am)

Three Quakers also competed at the prestigious Constable Invite at Princeton. For the Penn women's squash team, the semester break provided some great moments and team unity to help them in their fight to become Ivy League champions. The break started with the solid play of a trio of sophomores Jessica DiMauro and Dana Lipson and freshman Katie Patrick at the Constable Invitational, held at Princeton. Following the tournament, the whole team travelled to Toronto for a week of conditioning and scrimmaging. Similar to last year, the Constable Invitation was a very successful tournament for the Quakers. DiMauro continued her dominant intercollegiate play as she repeated as champion in the field of the top-20 intercollegiate players. After only losing one game in the whole tournament, to Amherst's No. 1 seed Harriet Els in the semifinal, DiMauro cruised to the championship, defeating Princeton's No. 1 seed Katherine Johnson in the finals 9-1, 9-3, 9-1. "I had a pretty good game plan from the beginning," DiMauro said. "The competition was good. I was worried about going into the tournament. I had a really good weekend." En route to her fifth-place finish, Patrick played superbly in defeating Brown No. 1 seed Devon Kennedy, but eventually lost to Harvard's top player, Ivy Pochoda. "I have never seen Katie run so hard in her match [as] against the girl from Brown," Penn head coach Demer Holleran said. "It was really good to see Katie work hard and have results." After drawing the eventual tournament runner-up, Lipson lost her first match, won her second, and was eliminated from the tournament in her third match. Upon arriving in Princeton to cheer on their teammate DiMauro in the championship, the Quakers left to train for a week in Toronto, while taking a few sight-seeing stops, including Niagara Falls. The week featured a decisive 7-2 victory against Toronto's McMaster University and a defeat against the Pine Valley Squash Club's A team, which featured DiMauro's 16-year old sister playing the No. 1 seed. Penn spent most of the winter vacation playing each other and working on drills specific to each player's weaknesses. Holleran also focussed on improving their conditioning and match skills. "I was hoping they would gain better consistency, spend time on the court, hit a lot of balls, get their fitness back, and make sure they were confident going into their early matches this semester," Holleran said. "I think we achieved those things, and I think they had some fun. It was good team bonding. They are ready to work hard for the next six weeks." DiMauro felt that the team enjoyed the week experience together. At yesterday's practice, one could sense the team getting along a lot better than before the trip. "It was good for the team," captain Elissa Helt said. "You spend so much time together on the squash court. It is nice to hang out off the squash court also." With their tough matches coming in the beginning of next month against Ivy League opponents Dartmouth, Princeton, and Harvard, the match experience and team togetherness gained during the break is definitely a positive factor for this relatively young team.

Three W. Squash players to enter prestigious tourney

(12/12/96 10:00am)

DiMauro, Patrick and Lipson will head to Princeton on January 3. The Penn women's squash team will be enjoying their training in Toronto this winter break, embarking on the journey with an undefeated record of 3-0, including 2-0 in the Ivy League. Coming off of a triumphant weekend against Ivy opponents Yale and Brown, the Quakers will only need to make minor adjustments during their vacation period. For the top three players, it will also be a competitive break. Only 10 players will be making the voyage to Canada. Unlike many other teams, the majority of those players are freshmen who constitute half of the traveling team. It is this same group of five freshmen that proved to be key factors against the Elis and the Bears this past weekend. Saturday, the team slipped by Yale 5-4. No. 1 seed sophomore Jessica DiMauro and No. 2 seed freshman Katie Patrick set the tone of the match with their straight game wins. However, it was the group of Patricia Lin, Paige Kollock, and Lauren Mann, playing in the No. 7, No. 8, and No. 9 seeds that came through to win the match for the Quakers. "The deciding factor was the lower [seeded] numbers of the team just being tougher, wanting it more than their opponent," Holleran said. "They were working harder for the points, not giving up, not making mistakes, and just doing the simple things right. They wanted to win for the team, which is great." Again on Sunday the two Canadians, DiMauro and Patrick, left the courts in a hurry with their straight game wins. This time, the team followed suit as Penn blanked Brown 9-0. The four freshmen again earned victories in bettering last year's 5-4 victory against the Bears. "The big difference in our team is that we have freshmen in the back of the lineup where we had seniors last year," Holleran said. "A big factor this past weekend was how tough those freshmen were going to be. Whether they would compete with confidence and desire. It was very exciting to see them prove to themselves that they wanted it." Before the team travels up to Toronto, they are going to make a brief stop at Princeton, to cheer for Penn's top three players, DiMauro, Patrick, and Dana Lipson, as they compete in the Constable Invitational, January 3-5. The Constable Invitational annually features the 20 best players in the nation for an informal national championship. DiMauro will try to repeat as champion of the event. Lipson also competed in the event last year, winning only one out of her three matches. In Toronto, the team will scrimmage against the Canadian schools of Western Ontario, Queens, and University of Toronto. The week long trip will give the team a lot of extra training, including a chance to build camaraderie within the team. "I think our team is close already, but Toronto will bring us even closer," Kollock said. "We should get some good practice time in with different types of players." As a team without a junior and only two seniors, it seems to fit the perfect image of a rebuilding year. "Last year they had a very successful season," Kollock said. "This year they were a bit apprehensive, because the team is mostly freshmen and sophomores. It is a very young team, and usually when you have a very young team it is a rebuilding season." However, this team which also contains seven freshmen and four sophomores has no desire to step back from the pressure. Led by DiMauro, the reigning collegiate national champion, and Patrick, the "top freshman entering collegiate competition," this team is concentrating on defeating Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton to take the Ancient Eight title and on improving their third-place finish at the WISRA Championships. Much will depend on the strength of the freshmen.

Even without top three, W. Squash blanks F

(12/04/96 10:00am)

Last night, the Penn women's squash team started the season on a convincing note, demolishing Franklin & Marshall by the count of 9-0. The match was never in doubt as every Quaker won her match in three straight sets. "F&M; was quite weak," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "They were not as strong as I anticipated they would be. We beat them more convincingly then I would have expected." The Quakers (1-0) were not in their normal lineup, as sophomore Lindsay Moss played the No. 1 seed followed by captain Elissa Helt at No. 2. The Quakers' regular top three players -- Jessica DiMauro, Katherine Patrick and Dana Lipson -- sat out against F&M; (4-2) so they could remain eligible for an invitational tournament later this month. The players were not missed. Due to Diplomats No. 1 seed Katherine MacDonald's sudden illness, Moss ended up playing their No. 2 seed, Katharine Stickney. Moss cruised to the victory, posting scores of 9-0, 9-2, 9-0. Helt easily took care of Nadia Novik 9-7, 9-3, 9-4. "I thought it was good practice," Moss said. "I got to work on my shots. Demer tried to get us nervous for this match. I thought it was going to be very scary." Both Helt and Moss felt that the match gave the team good preparation for the rest of the season. They thought it was important for the team to start out with a victory. Holleran was pleased with the teams play, especially freshman Paige Kollock. Although playing a weaker opponent, Kollock played solidly, not allowing her opponent, Elisabeth White, to score a single point. Freshmen Patricia Lin, Eliza Jacobs, Lauren Mann and Keelin Nelson all helped the team by notching victories in their first college matches. "They are really good group of freshmen." Helt said. "They just need more match experience. A match like this is good for them." After the Quakers' first victory, Holleran hopes the team will start to focus on its important weekend against two Ivy League opponents, Yale and Brown. "I think we can do very well," Helt said. "It just depends on how we play each match. We want to win everything. Each match is very important. We can't look ahead to far. Every match counts."

DiMauro-led W. Squash shoots for top three in the nation in '97

(11/27/96 10:00am)

Penn sophomore Jessica DiMauro is aiming for her second national championship in as many years. After having the best year in Penn women's squash history last season, the Quakers are focused on one goal -- improvement. Last year, the team finished third in the nation with a dual meet record of 10-2 (2-2 Ivy League), behind Harvard and Princeton. Within the conference, only the Crimson had a better record. Included in the unprecedented season was the winning of the individual national championship by then-freshman Jessica DiMauro. But graduation decimated the Quakers roster. No. 2 seed and team captain Lissa Hunsicker graduated along with three other seniors in the top nine spots. Taking over the void at captain is Elissa Helt. Helt carries the No. 5 spot for the team and will be looked to for leadership by many of the younger players. "Elissa is a real fighter," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "She is a good example to the younger ones on how to compete." Leading the way again for the Quakers will be DiMauro. The sophomore from Toronto says that her ultimate goal individually is to repeat as national champion. Her biggest rival is Princeton's Kathrine Johnson. Although it is obvious she is capable of retaining the title, DiMauro knows that she is going to have to work harder to stay on top of her game. "She is by far the best player I have ever coached," Holleran said. "She is fun to work with and is an exciting player to watch. She is a great team player. She should repeat if she plays well and stays uninjured." To fill in the No. 2 spot, Holleran again looked to the north and found freshman freshman Katie Patrick, the No. 1 women's squash player in Canada in her age group. Although Patrick has had little team experience, she has impressed both Holleran and teammate DiMauro. Still, replacing Hunsicker will be a tough charge for a rookie. "Katie is probably better than Lissa," DiMauro said. "They are different players. Lissa ran after stuff. Katie is a much smarter player." The most promising feature of the team is the freshman class. Including Patrick, five out of the top 10 spots are held by rookies. Although they never had the benefit of playing in team competition formats, Holleran is impressed with their skill. "The freshmen are solid squash players," Holleran said. "They are coming in with good experience." The team on a whole is very young. Dominated by freshmen and sophomores, Penn is filled with talent and inexperience. Although Holleran wants the team to be focused on performing well this year, it will be hard for everyone to avoid thinking about the years ahead. Sophomores DiMauro and Lindsay Moss, Penn's No. 4 player, both agree on the importance of this season, but note that, in the next few years, the team's achievements should be the best the program has ever seen. "By my senior year, we should do very well," DiMauro said. "Realistically, we should finish second." As for this year, Holleran hopes they will at least finish third nationally, if not better. Holleran is pleased with the team's positive attitude and desire to achieve, but she would like to see more intensity. As for the players, DiMauro and Moss note the enthusiasm of the team. "Everyone is improving," DiMauro said. "We are going to have a decent year. Everyone is keen and works hard."

Twin Killing

(11/07/96 10:00am)

The return of sisters Jill and Andrea Callahan to the Penn women's soccer team from illness has provided a boost to the struggling team. This season has been full of highs and lows for the Penn women's soccer team. From a 1-4-1 start through what coach Patrick Baker considered the team's "biggest win of the season" against Delaware on Tuesday, the Quakers (5-8-2, 1-4 Ivy League) have had to deal with much diversity. Yesterday, the team traveled to Ithaca, N.Y., for today's game against Cornell (7-8, 1-4), a team currently tied for seventh place in the Ivy League. The game is a make-up of their rained-out October 19 contest. As the Quakers finish out this season with today's match and Saturday's duel with Princeton, they know that, unlike last year, they will not finish with a winning record. However, with one win in the conference already, Penn needs only to win one of its final two games to break the school record for Ivy wins in a season. Looking back on the year, certain things stick out as possible reasons why this team has not been as successful as it originally promised to be. One of the main causes has been a preseason illness that affected two of the team's most promising young players the Quakers have ever had -- freshmen forwards Jill and Andrea Callaghan. "When you have the top two recruits to this point in time in a team's history, not to be able to play a full month or the whole year is devastating," Baker said. "I knew what they could do out in the field and what they could provide for us. To not have them early in the season, especially when you need a nice little run to get some confidence, was tough." The Callaghans were diagnosed in the preseason with a muscle enzyme deficiency. At one time, the doctors thought that they would miss the whole season, but they were able to play in 12 out of Penn's 17 games. Since the Callaghans are triplets (the third sister attends the College of New Jersey), a genetic disorder seemed to be a logical cause for the deficiency. But doctors have ruled that possibility out. The first game back for the Callaghans was against Monmouth. "They got in for the last 20 minutes, and a handful of kids that were sitting out gave them a standing ovation," Baker said. "They were so excited to have them out there." That night, both sisters came close to connecting for goals, each shooting just wide on their first attempts as collegians. But it did not take the Callaghans long to make an impact. In the next game, Andrea scored her first career goal, which proved to Penn's only goal in its 1-0 win over Temple. Jill added her first goal a few weeks later against Lehigh. The Callaghans are used to the spotlight. While playing for Moorestown High School in South Jersey, they reached the state finals in their last three years and were crowned state champions their last two, compiling an 87-13-6 record over four seasons. They were both named to the first-team all-state team in their junior and senior years. Andrea finished her high school career with 103 goals, ninth on the all-time New Jersey list, and Jill finished with 99 goals, 12th best on the list. Although Jill earned All-American honors her senior season, it was Andrea that was named team MVP. Heavily recruited by many eastern schools, the sisters made it known that they wanted to stay close to home. They did not become interested in playing for Penn until the summer before their senior year. That summer, their high school team attended a soccer camp at Trenton State, now the College of New Jersey. "Coach Baker was our coach at the Trenton State camp that our high school went to," Andrea Callaghan said. "I loved him and thought he was a great guy." A few months later, they committed to Penn. "When Jill Callaghan called me and told me that they were ready to commit to Penn, I got up and did a little Irish jig in my office," Baker said. "No one was around, but I was ecstatic." Many were surprised that the identical sisters chose to attend the same school, especially since their fraternal triplet sister Crissy chose the College of New Jersey. "I was surprised they went to the same school," Crissy said. "I thought we were all going to go our own ways to get space from each other. I think it has worked out really well. They seem to be getting along a lot better. "I like being on my own, and it has brought us a lot closer. I am glad we decided to go our separate ways." After playing with each other since kindergarten, competing together has become like second nature for Jill and Andrea. "I feel like I play much better when she is on the field with me," Andrea said. "I know where she is going to be if I am taking the ball down the sideline. I have an advantage over other people because I know where she is going to put it." Despite their identical appearances, both Jill and Andrea have their own way of putting the ball in the back of the net. "They are two different types of players," Moorestown coach Glenn Porter said. "Jill is a finesse player. Most of her game came beating people one on one with slick moves. Annie had a lot of speed and was more of a go-straight-to-the-net-type player." Although the Callaghans were dominant at the high school level, it was not obvious how that would translate to the college level. "At any Division I school, almost every player was all this and all that," Baker said. But the Callaghans were not worried by the difference in competition after playing against top-caliber players in the state tournament. However, they admit that there are some differences that surprised them. "Coming in I had no idea what to expect," Jill said. "All I heard was how tough it was going to be. I talked to people in college and heard how much more physical it was than high school. It is definitely a lot more intense." So far, the sisters have found Penn to be an ideal situation. The Quakers received an extra needed boost when the Callaghans were healthy enough to rejoin the team. After beginning the season without the Callaghans in the lineup, the team slumped to a 2-5-1 record. But with the sisters starting, Penn has gone 3-3-1. Baker was posed with a difficult decision when the Callaghans were to return -- when to bring them into the games. "It was a tough spot to be in, and I wanted to do the morally and ethically right thing," Baker said. "You are saying to yourself, 'Man, I have got to have these kids out on the field.' " In their shortened season, Andrea is tied with junior Darah Ross for the team lead in scoring with four goals. Jill has also been a major contributor to the team, scoring one goal and assisting on two others. In Tuesday's game against Delaware, the sisters broke a 1-1 standstill when Jill deflected a shot off the goalpost and Andrea punched in the rebound for the game-winning goal. As the year comes to a close, Baker looks forward to the coming years with an offense led by the Callaghans. "I will put it out there because we are gauging for it," Baker said. "I want to be one of the top two or three teams in the Ivies, if not the best. I would venture to say that by the Callaghans' junior year, we will be the top of the Ivies."

Penn falls to 7th in Ivies with loss to Yale

(11/05/96 10:00am)

Northeast power YaleNortheast power Yaletook advantage ofNortheast power Yaletook advantage ofPenn's defensive lapses. and Kendall Watson The Yale women's soccer team, ranked No. 6 in the Northeast, spoiled Penn's homecoming celebration Saturday, defeating the Quakers, 2-1, at Rhodes Field. With both teams jockeying for position in the Ivy League standings, everyone involved knew the importance of the outcome of the game. With the win, the Elis (10-4-1, 3-2-1 Ivy) moved into sole position of third place in the conference, behind nationally ranked Harvard and Dartmouth, and possibly helped their seeding for the ECAC post-season tournament. Penn (4-8-2, 1-4) fell to seventh place in the Ivy League, tied with Cornell. The Red and Blue's game with the Big Red, originally rained out October 19, has been rescheduled for Thursday at Cornell. Both Yale and Penn went into the game trying to play with similar styles of quick precise passes, moving the ball up the field. On Saturday, however, it was the Elis' execution that allowed them to move the ball up the field and capitalize on the Quakers' mistakes. "The difference in the game was when we became unorganized as a defensive group -- not our back four," Penn coach Patrick Baker said. "Once we became disorganized as an 11 and then started to stab, that was the difference. That was when they became effective." Both Yale goals were scored during Penn defensive lapses. This was exemplified as both scores came from just inside the box with four Quakers surrounding one Eli. First it was Yale senior forward Molly Woodruffe who dribbled through a disorganized Penn defense, shooting a low liner past goalie Amy Jodoin in the 20th minute. Fourteen minutes later, with the score tied at 1-1, Elis sophomore Robyn Harris scored with a shot from the middle of the box assisted by senior forward Amy Porter. The Quakers spent the past week in practice working on limiting touches, creating chances and moving the ball around by using short passes. That game plan was put to use in recovering from Yale's first goal, by keeping the ball on offense and on the Elis' half of the field. As a result, just over five minutes after Woodruffe's goal, Penn's Tina Cooper hit a one-timer far post from way outside the box. However, as the first half was coming to a close, the cold weather froze the Quakers, allowing Harris's goal to get through. The second half showed poor organization by both sides. The Elis were able to shutdown the Penn offense, but they were also unable to create very much of their own. "I thought we were pretty even with them," Penn midfielder Darah Ross said. "We had a lot of opportunities. It was a physical game, and they were good technically." Penn did not allow Yale one clear shot in the second half, but, by dribbling the ball into the Elis defenders, the Quakers did not get a good look at the net either. The Quakers kept the second leading scorer in the Ivy League, Yale forward Jill Rubenstein, from putting the ball in the back of the net. Penn forward Kelly Stevens and midfielder Wendy Bass were also able to keep Yale's playmaker, forward Blanka Fromm, well contained all game. For Penn, even though the game did end in a loss, it was the closest it had ever come to defeating the Elis. Yale coach Rudy Meridith, impressed by both teams' performances in the game, looks forward to their matches down the road. "They're a good team," Meridith said. "I have seen progression from them. They have gotten better each year. The games are getting so competitive that this is going to start being a big rivalry in the future." · Regardless of the result of their final three matches, the Quakers are now in the position of finishing the season under .500. Ending with a two-game Ivy League road trip, Penn's final week of the season kicks off today against regional rival Delaware in its final home match at 2 p.m. on Rhodes Field. After two closely contested Ivy losses to Brown and Yale, Patrick Baker's youthful squad of mostly freshmen and sophomores needs to regroup and regain the confidence and form that was on display only weeks ago against Columbia. Looking for some constructive soccer to end the season with a bang, the Quakers hope to raid the henhouse with a win against regionally ranked Delaware. The Blue Hens (9-7-1) are themselves looking for a little respect in the newly formed America East Conference. With a four-year starting goalie in Melissa Kulp and all-time leading Delaware scorer Beth Hatt on the starting roster, Delaware will certainly not be a push-over. For another tough out-of-conference opponent, Penn captains Jill Brown and Heather Herson and the Quakers defense will need to produce a near shutout to help the offense that has yet to find a consistent threat amidst its numerous weapons in the Callaghans, Jackie Flood, Darah Ross, Kelly Stevens and Tina Cooper.

Yale can be second Ivy win for W. Soccer

(11/01/96 10:00am)

For the six seniors on the Penn women's soccer team, tomorrow's homecoming game against Yale (9-4-2, 2-2-1 Ivy League) will not only be a time to display their leadership to past graduates of the team in attendance, but it might also be a time to give their class some recognition by breaking the team's record of Ivy League wins in a season. The Quakers (4-7-2, 1-3) women's soccer program, in its seventh year of existence, has never amassed more than one Ivy victory. Penn has already defeated Columbia, 3-2, in overtime this season. The Quakers are coming off a disheartening 1-0 loss to Brown and still have two other remaining Ivy League opponents besides Yale. For the seniors, playing in their final Ivy League home match, it would be sweet justice to get the win after losing the past two years by the same score of 3-1. "It is starting to get emotional," Penn senior midfielder Wendy Bass said. "This is the big one. I would like to go out with a win at home. It is very important -- it will give us the most wins ever." Hoping to continue their streak of dominance against the Quakers, Yale is coming off Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Connecticut, the No. 4 team in the nation. The Elis, ranked third in the Ivy League, are led by junior midfielder Jill Rubinstein, tied for first in goals scored in the Ivy League, and forward Theryn Gibbons, last week's Ivy League Rookie of the Week. The Quakers will be ready, having the whole week available to concentrate on Yale. They spent most of the week concentrating on defense and limiting the amount of touches on the ball to counteract the Elis' upbeat style of play. "Yale plays what we call West Coast -- very short and sweet, very attractive and pretty soccer," Penn coach Patrick Baker said. "We have to be patient defensively. If we run around like chickens with our heads cut off, they are just going to knock the ball around us and make us look silly." The seven days between games has also allowed the team to get back to full strength at 24 players, compared to the 18 who dressed against Brown last week. Penn also took Wednesday to get away from its norm, playing its annual State Games, a tournament designed by dividing up into teams corresponding to home states. "I think it is the fact that we have had people out for injuries and stuff," Penn forward Tina Cooper said. "Finally, we are getting use to each other and gelling as an offense."