This Saturday, the women’s soccer team will test itself against the team with the longest active win streak in the Ivy League.
The Bulldogs (7–4–2, 3–1 Ivy) will put their own three-game win streak on the line as they attempt to deny Penn its seventh consecutive win. The outcome of the game could have a major impact on the Bulldogs’ chances for the Ivy League crown as Yale and Penn (11–2, 3–1 Ivy) are currently tied for second place in the Ancient Eight standings,one point behind first-place Harvard.
“This is clearly the biggest game of the season for both Penn and us, because obviously we want to stay close to Harvard,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I know both teams are excited and probably a little bit nervous. It’s a huge, huge game.”
After winning three consecutive games, the Bulldogs have built up momentum going into the Penn matchup. Last week, the Elis cruised to a 3–0 victory over Fairfield on Tuesday and then defeated Cornell2–1on Saturday to close out the week.
Despite the team’s recent success, Meredith said the Bulldogs still need to work on maintaining a high level of play throughout theentire game. In the past, he said, the team has played well for up to 70 minutes of the game, but not the full 90.
“We’ve just got to play more consistently,” Meredithsaid. “We need to play a full 90-minute game well if we want to have any chance of beating Penn.”
After scoring twice off free kicks in last week’s game against the Big Red, midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 currently leads the team with six goals, four assists and 16 points. Forward Melissa Gavin ’15 has also added 13 points on five goals and three assists to help buoy Yale’s offense.
On Monday, freshman goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 earned the honor of Ivy League Rookie of the Week after she shut out Fairfield during her first career start in goal. Last Saturday against Cornell, she made two saves to help defeat the Big Red. Though Penn opened Ivy League play with a 2–0 loss at Harvard, the Quakers have not lost a game since.
Penn is coming off six consecutive games and has outscored opponents 20–1 during that stretch. The Quakers, last year’s Ivy champions, are coming off a 2–0 win against Dartmouth, which Yale defeated 4–1 earlier this season. Penn has scored a league-best 31 goals this season while yielding only six goals.
Forwards Kathryn Barth and Marin McDermott lead the Quakers offensively and have racked up 17 and 16 points respectively this season. McDermott is currently the league’s top scorer with seven goals, while Barth was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday after scoring both goals in Penn’s 2–0 win over Dartmouth last weekend.
The Quakers have also been strong defensively and rank first in the Ancient Eight in shutouts with six this year. Goalkeeper Sarah Banks owns a league-best 0.54 goals against average and has been beaten only five times in net.
Last year, Penn defeated Yale 1–0 at Reese Stadium.
Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. at Rhodes Field in Philadelphia.