Coming off of its first win in the Ivy League last weekend, the women’s soccer team has the opportunity to start a new wining streak.
This Saturday, the Bulldogs (6–6, 1–3 Ivy) will take on Penn (7–5–1, 3–1 Ivy) in Reese Stadium. Head coach Rudy Meredith said the game will be played at one of the quickest paces the Elis have seen this season.
“Penn plays a real high-pressure game,” Meredith said. “It’s almost like playing a basketball team that plays a full-court press.”
Penn, which lost its first conference game last week, is now tied for second place in the Ivies. The Bulldogs currently sit sixth in the league.
Meredith said the Bulldogs will keep an eye out for the Quakers’ precise attack.
“If you turn over the ball, they’ll make you pay,” he said.
The Quaker attack is strong: Six players have put multiple goals on the board for Penn so far. The Elis have had a total of 10 players score this season.
In net, the Quakers and Bulldogs have shown similar strengths. Goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 has 34 saves on the season, a 0.810 save statistic and a 1.11 goals-against average, while Penn goalkeeper Sarah Banks has 39 saves, a 0.765 save statistic and a 0.93 goals-against average.
This season, the Bulldogs have succeeded in moving off the ball, but they must continue to emphasize their effective give-and-go game against Penn, Meredith said. A careful first touch will help the Bulldogs maintain possession, play the ball quickly and consequently prevent the Quakers from striking.
“We won’t have time to play with it in our back half — we just have to play it quick,” Meredith said. “Our first touch on the ball is really important.”
Despite being out of Ivy League contention, the Elis still have the opportunity to end the season with a winning Ivy record by winning the rest of their conference games. This weekend also gives them an opportunity to knock Penn from its second place standing.
Saturday’s game will be the second in a double-header at Reese Stadium during Alumni day. Kick off at 5:30 p.m. will follow the men’s soccer team’s game, also against Penn.