There will not be any warm feelings in the city of Brotherly Love when the Ivy League’s two fifth-place teams — University of Pennsylvania (6-4-3, 1-2-1 Ivy) and Yale (7-5-1, 1-2-1 Ivy) — compete tomorrow morning.
After a six-game homestand, the Elis head to Philadelphia in search of their third consecutive victory. Yale has not competed since last Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win against Cornell (7-3-2, 1-2-1 Ivy). While the Bulldogs spent plenty of time on the practice field this week, they also made themselves comfortable in the training room.
“We’re trying to recover from a couple of injuries [and] maintain fitness,” head coach Rudy Meredith said.
Several key Eli players are out with injuries.
Forward Mimi Macauley ’07 has a broken nose, midfielder Maureen Metzger ’05 has a bruised foot, defender April Siuda ’06 has a twisted ankle, and defender Lindsay Demaree ’05 has an aggravated knee, Meredith said.
However, the injuries will not alter the lineup significantly.
In addition to dealing with the bruises and bang-ups, the Bulldogs will be leaving the friendly confines of the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium and taking to the road for the first time since Sept. 27.
“[You] don’t expect anything good when you’re going on the road,” Meredith said. “You expect everything to be bad.”
Yale is 3-3 in away games this season.
“We’ll definitely have to make an adjustment,” midfielder Mia Arakaki ’05 said.
The defense will need to be solid against the Quakers this weekend because Penn has one of the Ancient Eight’s most dangerous players in forward Katy Cross.
Cross is second in the conference in scoring with nine goals and five assists for 23 points.
“She’s a handful, so she definitely has to be addressed, [and] we’ll definitely deal with that in practice this week,” Meredith said. “You [have] two choices. You can guard her as a team or you can mark her man to man. If you play man to man it’s hard to guard her all over the field.”
If the Elis choose to play Cross one-on-one, Siuda or Demaree will likely have the task of keeping her off the score sheet.
“Our defense has done such an amazing job all season,” Arakaki said. “Our defenders have the capability to shut [Cross] down.”
Trailing 1-0 against the Big Red at halftime last weekend, Meredith shifted midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06 up to forward, an offensively oriented move that helped Yale come back to win the game.
Whether or not Yale can stop Cross with one less player in the backfield is a question that must be answered, Meredith said.
But, Yale will counter Cross with some offensive firepower of its own.
Karnes is seventh in the Ivy League with seven goals and three assists for 17 points.
And what Karnes finishes is often started by midfielder and team captain Lee Anne Jasper ’04.
Jasper has been on a tear lately, recording one goal and two assists in her last two games and is second in the Ancient Eight with six assists on the season.
“[Jasper] was playing out of position [at center midfield early in the season], she’s probably one of the better outside midfielders in the league,” Meredith said.
Against Cornell, the Bulldogs performed well both offensively and defensively, midfielder Lindsey Weening ’06 said.
With four games remaining and a postseason berth hanging in the balance, Yale will need strong play at both ends of the field to continue its winning ways.
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