With just three conference games left in the season, the Elis are looking to break ahead in a five-way tie for first place.
After a strong weekend of wins against Dartmouth (8–5, 3–1 Ivy) — also tied for the No. 1 Ivy ranking — and Fairfield (8–7, 0–3 Big East), the Yale field hockey team (7–6, 3–1) will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday in search of its fourth consecutive win. The Bulldogs take on the Quakers (3–10, 1–3), who lag at sixth place within the Ancient Eight.
“We’re really excited to play another Ivy team,” forward Mia Rosati ’12 said. “A win is really important to keep us in the running for an Ivy title.”
Yale comes into the matchup following a strong season. The team lost by only one point to No. 2 UConn on Oct. 2 and defeated Big Ten No. 24 Northwestern on Oct. 9.
Last weekend, the Elis handed Dartmouth its first league loss of the season. The team’s 49 goals so far this season already place the Elis close to their record—55 goals per season record from 1998. Yale comes into the game against Penn with 48 assists in the season — the second-most in the team’s history.
Individually, the team boasts some of the strongest players in Yale’s history. Team captain and back Erin Carter ’12 has notched 29 goals to rank sixth place on Yale’s career list. Midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 ranks sixth on that list with 68 points (15 goals, 38 assists) and second on Yale’s career assist list.
Landshut said the team focuses on the game at hand regardless of League standings.
“The team has done a great job taking one game at a time,” Landshut said. “This is exactly the mentality with which we will enter the game on Sunday.”
Although Penn does not immediately compete for the first place spot, the Bulldogs must clinch a win against the Quakers to defend their title in the Ancient Eight.
Even though the Quakers have only enjoyed three wins this season, one of the team’s players has recently received distinction. Penn midfielder Alex Iqbal notched seven points in Penn’s three games last week. Her breakout performance in offense earned her Rookie of the Week honors, the first Ivy award for the Quakers since sophomore attack Julie Tahan earned it last November.
The Bulldogs changed their practice conditions leading up to the Penn game to mimick Penn’s turf conditions.
Rosati said Penn’s Franklin Field — where the teams will play — is bumpier than astroturf, and as a result, the ball rolls on it more slowly. She added that the team wanted to go into this game as prepared for the conditions as possible.
“We’ve been practicing all week on field turf…because that’s what Penn plays on,” Rosati said.
Goalkeeper Ona McConnell ’13 said the team always fights hard against Penn, but she hopes Yale’s strong record this season will work in its favor.
The teams face off on Franklin Field Saturday at 1 p.m.