On Saturday, No. 7 women’s soccer (6-3-2, 0-1-1 Ivy) will have a difficult test against No. 4 Penn (6-1-3, 1-1 Ivy).
Penn’s offense will be of grave concern for the Lions if they hope to pick up their first Ivy win of the season.
Ten different Penn players have already found the back of the net this season, and the Quakers have had only had one game in which they failed to score.
Reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Kerry Scalora, who has a team-leading four goals and three assists, leads their diverse offense.
Much of Penn’s success has come from having taken 100 more shots on goal than its opponents.
While Columbia posted a win and a loss against Fairleigh Dickinson and Cornell, respectively, Penn posted 1-0 and 4-0 victories over the same opponents, after starting the year undefeated until its seventh game.
The Lions’ defense has come into form in the past few weeks of play, posting five of their six shutouts in the last six games.
Though the team has impressed in its home performances thus far, it will face a steep challenge in keeping the up-tempo Quakers off the board.
Yet the team has struggled to generate offense against its conference opponents. The Light Blue has yet to score against a conference opponent this season.
The Lions will need seniors Beverly Leon and Natalie Melo, as well as juniors Alexa Yow and Phoenetia Browne, to play exceedingly well if they hope to match Penn’s scoring output.
That task is made even more difficult with Penn’s tough defense, which has allowed just five goals the entire season, while tallying seven shutouts and posting an average of just six shots allowed per game.
Fortunately for the Light Blue, the Quakers have struggled, relatively, on the road, where they have allowed four of their five goals.
Penn comes into the game with just one road win in four games, and its high-scoring offense only averages 1.0 goals per game on the road, compared to 1.9 goals per game overall.
The Lions will have to disrupt Penn’s rhythm and generate consistent offense themselves if they hope to come away with the victory.
The Lions and Quakers square off with a 4:30 p.m. kickoff this Saturday at the newly renamed Rocco B. Commisso Stadium.