March 20, 2009

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No. 3 Penn Hosts No. 14 Cornell in Ivy Opener

from press release

PHILADELPHIA--The undefeated No. 3 Quakers are back at Franklin Field to host Cornell, Saturday. The Big Red is 5-1 after suffereing their first loss of the season earlier this week. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

Though the Big Red has only one loss on its record, a close call earlier this season could have given them a second. Playing four overtimes against Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights had a goal called off for crease violation in the sudden victory period, giving Cornell a chance to turn the tables, which they did.

A defensive-minded team, like Penn, Cornell allowed 10 or fewer goals in its wins. Things came undone against Loyola with the Greyhounds racking up 16 goals--though half were to just one player, Grace Gavin.

Stressing defense is not the only similarity between Penn and Cornell. Both teams have more than 10 different goal-scorers this season.

Leading the Cornell attack is a pair of Jessicas (Steinberg and Wiegand) and Kate Dewey with 10 goals each. Steinberg complements her scoring with eight assists to lead her team in points.

Deirdre Lafferty's stat line also jumps out with 16 caused turnovers and 11 ground balls. Though she also has a team-leading 32 fouls.

In goal for Cornell, Kristen Reese holds an 8.52 goals against average and a .474 save percentage.

Hoping to push that percentage down, Penn's attack has featured Courtney Lubbe, Emma Spiro and Ali DeLuca. All boasting double-digit goals this season. More impressively, DeLuca is just six points away from becoming the 15th Quaker to register 100 points, two goals and one assist away from breaking into the top 10 of those lists as well.

Also impressive is goalkeeper Emily Szelest's gaudy goal-against average and save percentage. She tops the nation with a 4.00 GAA and is sixth with her .532 save percentage.

Last season, Penn ventured to a frigid Ithaca, N.Y. and escaped with a narrow 7-6 win. The all-time series is also one of few Ivy series that Penn holds the lead in with a 19-15 record against the Big Red since 1975.


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