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.

W. Soccer: Fate to be pulled out of a hat?

With just two weeks remaining in the Ivy League women's soccer schedule, three teams are in the hunt for an Ivy title, which has stimulated discussion about how a potential three-way tie between the top teams for first place might shake out. Of course, not only is an Ivy League championship on the line, but also an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

So here's the scenario: if Dartmouth and Penn win out, including the Quakers taking out Princeton on the road on Nov. 3, and Princeton doesn't get upset by Cornell this weekend, then all three teams would finish the season 6-1. Looking at head-to-head wins can't be used to break the tie, since Princeton beat Dartmouth, Dartmouth beat Penn and Penn will have defeated Princeton.

What, then, will decide the fate of the Ivy title and the tourney bid? Well, the championship will simply be shared by all three teams. There is some historical precedence for this — in fact, the same three teams shared the title in 2001, oddly enough.

The NCAA tournament bid, however, is an entirely different story. After a season of hard fought matches and competitive games, the Ivy League would decide which team represents the conference in the NCAA tournament by, drumroll please, pulling a team's name out of a hat.

No, that is not a joke. According to Trevor Rutledge-Leverenz, a representative from the Ivy League, Executive Director Robin Harris would draw a team's name out of a hat to determine which squad receives the tournament bid.

If it's any consolation (though I'm not sure it would be to the other two teams), Rutledge-Leverenz added that the name-drawing would be broadcasted live online.

Let us know what you think about the Ivy League's tie-breaking process in the comments below. We will provide updates on this story as they come in.

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.

Homecoming Saturday quick hits

Lots of activity on campus today for homecoming — here's what has shaken out so far:

  • Football got its must-win over Princeton in convincing fashion, 37-9 at Franklin Field. It didn't start too well, but Penn scored 25 second-half points and gave up none after the break.
    • Brown beat Yale today to remain on pace with the Quakers in second, Harvard beat Columbia to remain at the top, setting up another must-win Saturday for Penn in Cambridge next weekend.
    • The Quaker mascot had a stuffed Tiger that he swung around on a string for much of the football game. At some point, its head became disembodied and was thrown into the crowd, which threw it back to the Quaker, who proceeded to stomp on the bodiless tiger head.
  • Penn women's soccer had a convincing 3-1 win over Princeton to close out the regular season. League-leading Harvard plays Columbia tonight. A Crimson loss would put Penn in a tie for first place with Harvard. Regardless, the Quakers win today will help their shot at an at-large bid into the NCAA tourney.
    • UPDATE: Harvard beat Columbia 1-0, clinching the outright title.
  • Volleyball beat Brown 3-1 in Providence, R.I., after falling to Yale last night.
  • The Mac 'n' cheese at the homecoming lunch event on College Green was quite tasty.
  • Men's basketball scrimmaged Canadian Carleton University at the Palestra. The Quakers pulled out a 74-72 win, as Zack Rosen sunk two free throws with 0.3 seconds left to seal the game. Tyler Bernardini was deadly from three, scoring 21 points (7-for-8). Rosen and sophomore Fran Dougherty were also in double digits.
    • Of the freshmen, Cam Crocker and Simeon Esprit both made some nice plays on offense. The team's defense, however, needs much work. Carleton frequently worked the ball inside and kicked it back out to open guards who basically had free rein from the outside. And they took advantage.
    • Eight players did not make it into the game. Seniors Rob Belcore, Larry Loughery and Mike Howlett all sat out, and 5th-year senior Zack Gordon was absent. Sophomore Miles Cartwright did not play, nor did Steve Rennard. Freshmen Greg Louis and Henry Brooks both sat as well.
    • The Palestra video board looks great. Except it spelled Zack Rosen's name "Zach," which is wrong.

Turn Back the Clock: An historic win over Princeton

With last week’s disappointing loss to Brown that ended basically every big streak the Quakers had going, this week’s segment will step away from the football field. Although the Red and Blue are not out of Ivy title contention yet, unless they get some help, the best they can do is clinch a share of the championship. So, in anticipation of the football, soccer and field hockey games against Princeton set for homecoming this weekend, this week’s piece will take a look at an historic victory over the Tigers for the Penn women’s soccer team. And as we Turn Back the Clock, don’t forget to turn back your clocks one hour on Sunday. Enjoy the extra sleep.

On this day in Penn sports history …

November 3, 2007: The Penn women’s soccer team was coming off a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Brown in double overtime the week before. The Quakers came into the match against the Bears 4-0 in Ivy play, but Brown’s goal in the 110th minute – with only 18 seconds left to play – crushed Penn’s hopes of an undefeated Ivy season. Still, with a win at Rhodes Field over the Tigers, who were also coming into the game with a 4-1 conference record, the Quakers could clinch a share of the Ivy title, and with some help, they could also secure the Ivy’s automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup.

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Mid-Monday Mix: 5 days until football

The NFL kicked off this weekend and many college football programs already have two weeks of competition under their belts. But in the world-renowned (just not for its football) Ivy League, it all begins Saturday. As you might have seen, Penn's got a shot at history as they go for a third-consecutive undefeated season. If that doesn't get your blood flowing, perhaps some postgame fireworks at the grand-opening of Penn Park will. (Shameless promotion: Thursday's DP will feature a big spread on Penn Park. Pick one up!) (Shameless promotion #2: Friday's DP will feature our annual football supplement. Pick more than one up.)

Rundown: Have you heard of Penn women's soccer? They're kind of awesome.

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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!


Mysterious Marathon Marketing

Those who are still on campus might have noticed some changes at the old Marathon Grill location since it closed earlier this spring. The windows are now filled with images from Penn Athletics.

In the old door we have wrestling assistant coach Matt Valenti, back when he was just an undergrad, celebrating alongside this year's Ivy champion women's soccer team (Sidenote: note the woodstain from where Marathon's logo was):

Then along the windows we have a series of shots, the only one of which I can make out from these photos is No. 10, Ali DeLuca, who graduated one of the top players in Penn women's lax history in 2010:

08082011_AthletesOnWindows003So what is going on here? Is Penn Athletics just taking advantage of some prime window space while Facilities and Real Estate Services look for a new tenant? Or perhaps the space will become a Penn Athletics themed ESPN Zone-type outfit on 40th and Walnut. If so, what effect would this have on University Pinball's (40th and Spruce) local arcade monopoly?

I'll note that some of the windows on the 40th Street side of this corner (near PNC and Smokey Joe's) already have similar window decorations, but with more retro pictures. But man, an arcade right across from the DP office would be sweet.

(h/t to Jen Scuteri and photographer Alexandra Fleischman)

Live Blog: W. Soccer at Princeton

It's Saturday at Princeton, and Ethan Alter is covering the Penn women's soccer team's last match, an all-or-nothing contest against the Tigers. If Penn wins or ties, then they earn the 2010 Ivy title and an NCAA tournament bid. A loss, however, hands those prizes to Princeton.

The game begins at 4 p.m. The liveblog is after the jump, or you can open it in a new window.

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Live game updates all day

We've got a very exciting day in Penn sports (only to be topped by next weekend's festivities), and for those of you who aren't able to make it out to Princeton, you can follow along on The Buzz for live updates not only from the football game, but also from both men's and women's soccer, who can both clinch titles with wins today.

The schedule:

Football: Penn (4-0 Ivy) vs. Princeton (0-4) - 3:3o P.M.

W. Soccer: Penn (4-1-1 Ivy) vs. Princeton (4-2-0) - 4 P.M.

M. Soccer: Penn (5-0-0 Ivy) vs Princeton (5-0-0) - 7 P.M.

In other news from the rivalry, Penn sprint football destroyed the Tigers, 70-0, last night to clinch a share of the CSFL title. Check back to the Buzz this afternoon for all the action.