Weekend Wrap: On the road at Princeton

While football may have had the most dramatic finish in Princeton over the weekend, it was not the only Penn squad to take on the Tigers. Check Weekend Wrap for a review of the Quakers' performances in other arenas, including a few squads that finished their seasons against Princeton.

Field Hockey
Even in a strong year for Penn field hockey, the Red and Blue were not likely to fair well against No. 2 Princeton. The Tigers outscored their Ivy opponents 45-1 on the year and recorded six league wins by a margin of five goals or more. With this in mind, Quakers’ 7-0 defeat should not come as a surprise to anyone. Princeton’s victory secured its eighth consecutive league title.

That said, Penn (9-8, 3-4 Ivy) can certainly celebrate finishing above .500 for the first time since 2006 — one of several indications that this program is on the rise.

Men's Soccer
Despite holding off the Tigers for the first half an hour of play, the Penn men’s soccer team collapsed once again in a 3-0 loss at Princeton. With a last-place finish on the horizon, the Quakers (2-13, 0-6 Ivy) should start the rebuilding process now and start thinking about how the team can change its fortunes for next season.

Women's Soccer
As Penn women’s soccer coach Darren Ambrose put it, “Speed kills.” The Quakers found this out in a big way this weekend against Princeton, as they fell to the Tigers, 4-2, on the road. Princeton’s Jen Hoy demonstrated why she deserves the Ivy League Player of the Year award, using her speed to create breakaways on multiple occasions, despite double and triple-teams by Penn’s defense. When the Quakers swarmed her, Hoy fed to Lauren Lazo, who recorded a hat trick on the evening.

To their credit, the Red and Blue (9-6-1, 5-2 Ivy) did not go down without a fight. Late in the second half, Clara Midgley added two goals in nine minutes to make the game 3-2. However, the Tigers ultimately added one more score and walked away with a win as well as the league championship.

With Yale steamrolling the Ivy standings, it’s a race to second place for Penn volleyball. Despite knotting the match at 1-1 at one point, the squad failed to slow down the Bulldogs (16-5, 12-0 Ivy) and lost by a final of 3-1 Friday night at the Palestra. However, the Quakers (13-10, 8-4) turned around Saturday to defeat Brown, 3-1, on Senior Night. The Red and Blue currently sit at third in the Ivy League behind Yale and Princeton (12-10, 9-3) with two matches remaining.

Weekend Wrap: Volleyball shocks Princeton on the road and more

We all know you've had ample football coverage this weekend, but what about the members of the Red and Blue playing at venues other than the Yale Bowl? For recaps of Penn's other squads, look no further than this week's edition of "Weekend Wrap."

The volleyball team began the second half of its conference schedule with a dramatic victory over Princeton on the road, battling back from two sets down to win, 3-2. While Penn (10-9, 5-3 Ivy) will need the Tigers and the Bulldogs to lose some matches to give it a chance at an Ivy title, this weekend’s performance could be a major turning point for this relatively young squad.

Men's Soccer
Playing on the road, the Quakers’ struggles continued, and the team lost to a lackluster Yale squad, 2-1. Without an Ivy win to its name, this Red and Blue team is hard pressed to find a silver lining to this season’s performance. That said, Penn (2-11, 0-4) could make some noise in the Ivy League by upsetting first-place Brown next weekend.

Women's Soccer
Though this team has walked on a knife’s edge at times this season, the Penn women’s soccer squad has a legitimate shot at an Ivy title, and the team made progress toward that goal by defeating Yale, 2-0, in New Haven. It was just the third road victory for the Quakers (8-5-1, 4-1) against the Bulldogs in program history, and the first time in four games that the Red and Blue have put up multiple goals in a game. These are auspicious signs for the team as it enters its final two matches of the season, including a hotly anticipated showdown with league-leading Princeton on Nov. 3.

Field Hockey
A 3-2 victory on the road over Yale keeps Penn field hockey on pace to improve upon last year’s 2-5 Ivy League record, not to mention out of last place. The game ball (is that a thing in field hockey?) undoubtedly goes to junior captain Julie Tahan, who assisted two scores before adding the game-winner herself. The following day, the Quakers (7-7, 2-3) dropped a contest against Fairfield, 4-2. While coaches and players will give you a line about why momentum’s important, the fact of the matter is that the Ivy slate is what counts, so if you’re going to split for the weekend, the Red and Blue did it right.

Field hockey freshmen named All-Ivy

Freshman Alex Iqbal was named Second-Team All-Ivy

All-Ivy honors were announced today in field hockey, with two Penn players being named to the award — Alex Iqbal (Second Team) and MaryRose Croddick (Honorable Mention). Both are freshmen.

Alex Iqbal started all 17 games this season and finished tied for second on the team in goals, with five. All five goals were scored in the team's final five games, including a hat trick against Appalachian State on Oct. 16. She also added two assists and was tied for second on the team in shots, with 32.

MaryRose Croddick also started all 17 games for the Quakers this year and was a part of the improved defense that allowed 20 fewer goals this season than in 2010. Before the awards were announced, coach Colleen Fink was hopeful Croddick would be considered for Ivy Rookie of the Year.

Iqbal and Croddick are two of a class of eight total freshmen on a rebuilding Penn squad. Of the team's top five scorers this year, three were freshmen (including Iqbal) and the leading scorer, Julie Tahan, is a sophomore. The team finished the season with a 4-13 record overall, 2-5 in Ivy play, but improved greatly over last season's last place Ivy finish. The team wrapped up its season this past Friday against Princeton, who claimed its 17th Ivy title in 18 years and won its opening NCAA Tournament game against Rider, 1-0, yesterday.

Ivy League will be well-represented in upcoming Olympics

(via USA Today)

(via USA Today)

Last Friday, the U.S. field hockey team shocked Argentina in the finals of the Pan American games, officially qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Since women's field hockey was first instituted into the Pan Am games in 1987, Argentina had won all six titles, and the United States had finished second all but one time — that all changed this year. For the Argentines, their number one world ranking may be in jeopardy, while the U.S. may see a bump up from its current spot at 13.

Representing the Ivy League on the American roster are four players currently taking a leave of absence from Princeton, in addition to one Princeton alum. Katie Reinprecht, who would have been a senior this year for the Tigers, scored the Americans' first two goals of the tournament in an opening 5-0 thumper over host Mexico. Michelle Cesan, a rising junior, also scored in the team's 4-2 semifinal victory over Canada. The other Princetonians on the roster are Julia Reinprecht, a rising junior, Kathleen Sharkey, a rising senior, and Maren Ford '06.

Back in the States, the Orange and Black have, for the most part, been doing fine without their star players. This weekend, the Tigers look to clinch their seventh-straight Ivy title against the Quakers at Franklin Field. Penn has beaten Princeton only once in the last 17 years, but that win clinched them a share of the 2004 Ivy championship with Harvard. It was also the only year the Tigers did not win at least a share of the Ivy title since 1994.

Mid-Monday Mix: Use your head

A new year and a new feature on the Buzz: I'm calling it Mid-Monday Mix. Every Monday, sometime in the early afternoon and barring any additional hurricanes, I'll bring you a mix of notes and notables from the weekend that was:

Rundown: I took in parts of both the men's and women's soccer games at Rhodes last night. Both teams put on a show for a pretty sizable crowd, by Rhodes standards.

  • Women's soccer opened their season with two clean sheets for the first time since 1998, winning 3-0 over UMBC Friday and 2-0 over Delaware Sunday night. Both goals last night were of the cranial variety, coming off the heads of seniors Ursula Lopez-Palm and Marin McDermott.
  • The men also remained undefeated, notching a 5-1 rout of St. Joe's earlier in the evening. They beat La Salle 2-0 on Friday as well. Freshman Duke Lacroix took home Ivy Rookie of the Week honors with two goals Sunday night. He also takes home Name of the Week honors for having an awesome name.
  • Volleyball hosted their annual Big 5 tournament, posting wins against Temple and La Salle, but ultimately fell to Villanova, 3-1. They did the same thing last year, lasting an extra set against the Wildcats.
  • Field Hockey kicked off it's second season under coach Colleen Quinn Fink, looking to shake off a disastrous 2010. The opening to 2011 didn't look too good either: a 7-0 loss to American.
  • Football season is 12 days away. The Quakers apparently had a brief respite from their two-a-days, getting to relax in the pool with some free swim this weekend.

Weekend win: The honor for this weekend's win goes to M. Soccer coach Rudy Fuller, who posted his 100th career 'W' for Penn soccer with a 2-0 shutout of La Salle. Fuller is starting his 14th year with Penn.

Multimedia: Check out the aforementioned goals off the heads of Lopez-Palm and McDermott:

Extra, Extra: Here's a picture of an adorable dog reading The DP, courtesy of our managing editor Unnati Dass. You should do the same. We resume normal production Wednesday when classes begin!


Penn just might have the smartest football team

Every academic year, the NCAA releases a list of Academic Progress Rates for its member schools. Each team on each school is rated based on the academic eligibility and retention of its scholarship athletes over the past four-year period. If a team receives a score of 925 (out of a possible 1,000), just 50 percent of its members are expected to graduate.

Out of the 224 Division I football programs, the Quakers scored the highest with a 998--though they were hardly Penn's highest-rated team. In fact, many of Penn's female athletes fared better; of the nine Penn programs to score a perfect 1000, men's cross country was the lone representative from the men's side (the others are field hockey, women's fencing, women's golf, gymnastics, women's lacrosse, women's rowing, women's swimming, women's tennis).

With a score of 978, men's basketball had Penn's second-lowest APR. But the dubious distinction of last-place was given to the men's fencing team.

Fall Sports Schedules

Now that we've hit mid-July, the majority of fall teams have released their schedules. Here they are, and I'll try to update this page as the last few schedules are announced.

Field Hockey: The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a weekend trip to Vermont to take on University of Vermont and University of New Hampshire. The biggest Ivy game of the year is always Princeton, and this year it's at Franklin Field on Nov. 6, the day before the Homecoming football game.

Football: We've known the matchups for quite some time now, but the times are still officially TBA. However, I've got some information about the start times:

The opener versus Villanova at Franklin Field was tentatively scheduled for 3:30 but that time has changed. Most home games are potentially slated at 1 p.m., but that's dependent on television schedules that haven't been finalized. The one exception is homecoming, which a Penn Athletics representative said was “99%” likely to take place in the afternoon at 3:30 p.m. instead of the noon kickoff time of the last few years.

@ Lafayette: 9/26 6 p.m. (same time as last year’s game in Easton).

@ Dartmouth: 10/3 1:30 p.m.

@ Columbia: 10/17 1:30 p.m. (The Lions’ homecoming)

@ Brown: 10/31 12:30 p.m.

@ Harvard: 11/14 Noon

Sprint Football: The lightweights' schedule is basically the same every year since it's a small league (no pun intended). This year, however, there's a new team, Mansfield.

M. Golf: Nothing much to say here since golf's bigger season is the spring. Guess the only thing of note is that the  Rehoboth Beach Fall Invitational is listed as a home tournament.

M. Soccer: The defending co-Ivy League champions, might listen to Led Zeppelin this fall as the team is "Going to California" in September.  Specifically, they'll be traveling to San Diego the first weekend of the school year (Sept 11-13) to participate in the San Diego State Tournament.

W. Soccer: Home cooking might be the remedy to the Quakers' "very disappointing" 2008 season. 11 of Penn's 16 games are at home.

Volleyball: The same weekend that M. Soccer is in California, Volleyball will be in another big state: Texas. The Quakers travel to the Lone Star state to participate in the Houston Baptist Tournament.