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Penn cross country impresses in meets at Penn State and Princeton

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Two days, two impressive meets for Penn cross country.

On Friday morning, both teams traveled to State College, Pa. for the Penn State National Open and went home with top-five finishes. The next day, runners who did not race at Penn State made the shorter trip to compete at the Princeton Invitational, where the men’s team placed sixth out of 24 teams, and the women finished a respectable 14th.

At Penn State, junior led the way for Penn, finishing second overall in the 5.2-mile run. It was a true team effort for the men today, as all runners — Russo, seniors Andrew Hally and Will Daly, and juniors Noah Carey and Daniel Cohen — finished inside the top 25. For the women, fellow junior Melissa Tanaka was the first Quaker to cross the finish line, and coach Steve Dolan was enthusiastic about her performance.

“That was probably Melissa Tanaka’s best cross country race of college, she was the first runner finishing,” Dolan said. “She’s done a great job, she’s more of a middle-distance runner in track, so it’s really fun to watch her excel in cross country.”

Tanaka, who has an accomplished track career at Penn that includes a school record and multiple Ivy League Championships, is proving to be just as valuable for the cross country team as well.

Overall, the men finished runner-up to Philadelphia rival Temple, but beat out several schools including Georgia Tech, William & Mary, and Lehigh. The women finished fifth out of 16 teams, one place behind Ivy League rival Princeton.

Running a familiar trail on Saturday in Princeton, N.J., senior Mitchell Poynter finished first for the Quakers and 14th overall. Senior Christina Rancan had the fastest finish of the Penn women on the day, in what was a bit of a how for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 regular season—the league’s twelfth campaign—which begins with Western Sydney hosting Adelaide on November 14 and three more games on Sunday, November 17. Post the Women’s World Cup, some high-profile W-Leaguemecoming for her, since she attended high school just a couple of miles outside of Princeton.

As a result of the Quakers’ recent success, both teams have burst . The women are No. 23 nationally and first in the Mid-Atlantic region, whileng has confirmed talks with Manchester City before agreeing to move to Spain.While with Ajax last season, De Jong held extensive negotiations with City, only to choose to sign terms with Barca in February.Speaking with Voetbal International, the midf the men have received recognition as the No. 3 in the region and received four votes in the national poll. After another successful weekend, the teams could be poised to make a jump in the polls.

The Red and Blue will aim to fare similarly in their next meet, the Ivy League Heptagonal Champiot season.The winger is interesting Arsenal.But Fraser said: “I’ve got a year left. There’s a very good chance I’ll be here next season.“If that’s that then I’m going to try my best as I always do and I’ll enjoy it.“I love the group here and the fnship on Nov. 1 in the Bronx, N.Y. While the runners will certainly be happy with their performances this weekend, they are already looking forward to their next meet.

“That meet always adds a lot of excitement, with the history of it, so the excitement will be there in addition to the preparation over the next two weeks,” said Dolan.

The Quakers will spend the next two weeks preparing for championship as they look to improve upon their finish from last season, where the men’s and women’s teams finished fourth and eighth, respectively.

Ivy League rule change reduced risk of concussions in football, journal article reports

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Penn is used to having its name published in prestigious journals. Generally, though, the University only finds itself in the byline, not in the data itself.

On October 1, reported that a rule change in Ivy League football appeared to have reduced head injuries by making kickoff returns less frequent.

“We are proud to see results from our study published in such an esteemed journal as JAMA, and even more gratified to know that policies we put in place have directly led to a decrease in concussions,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said in a league press release.

Biostatistics and epidemiology professor Douglas J. Wiebe published the article, which details a recent study of data from the past several years of Ivy League football. F boss Jurgen Klopp has laughed off Alisson’s uncharacteristic howler in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Lyon.The Brazilian allowed a routine cross to drop out of his hands and into the path of Moussa Dembele, with the goalkeeper bringing him down in the boxollowing a rule change prior to the 2016 season, researchers wanted to know if the league had been successful in reducing concussions caused by kickoffs.

According to Wiebe’s article, the rate of touchbacks on kickoffs increased from an average of 17.9 percent before 2016 to 48 percent in the two years after the rule was changed. Per 1000 plays, the rate of concussions during kickoffs decreased from 10.93 before 2016 to 2.04 after. For non-kickoff plays, the rate of concussions was 2.56 before and 1.18 after the rule change.

A difference-in-differences analysis — a statistical method that determines the impact of a ‘treatment’ in an observational study — found that 7.51 fewer concussions per 1000 kickoff plays occurred following the rule change.

The new rule, which moved the spot of the kickoff from the 35 to the 40-yard line, makes it more likely that teams will kick the ball deep into the opposing team’s end zone. Teams will generally choose not to return these kicks for strategic reasons, which results in more touchbacks. The Ivy League predicted that it could reduce the number of head injuries by decreasing the frequency with which players had to engage in dangerous returns.

Kickoff returns are notoriously dangerous; according to the journal article, in 2015 “kickoffs accounted for 6% of all plays but 21% of concussions” in the Ivy League. A rule change that can make them safer could take a significant stride toward increased player safety without disrupting or changing the game itself.

However, it wasn’t obvious that the researchers were going to see promising results. At the same time as they changed the location of the kickoff, the Ivy League also changed the placement of a touchback from the 25 yard to the 20 yard line. This could potentially have encourage teams to take fewer touchbacks in the hopes of getting to start a drive further from their own end zone.

This isn’t all that Penn and the Ivy League have been doing to reduce head injuries. The Ivy League also instituted strict rules eliminating full-contact hits during practice, which the study’s authorsting Manchester United today.Wilson, who is on loan at Eddie Howe’s side from United’s arch-rivals Liverpool , is expecting a hostile reception from the travelling supporters, but claimed he is ready to use it as a motivator.”It’s part and parcel of acknowledge could bear some of the responsibility for the total decrease in concussions.

Penn is leading the Ancient Eight by doing even er their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.The former midfielder will return to his post in charge of the Under-23s following the appointment of Nigel Pearson as head coach and his two-game stint ended with a point against Palace.He said, “We knew Crystalmore to reduce concussions. This season, the football and sprint football teams will add an innovative, to their helmets which is supposed to reduce the risk of injury during collisions.

Concussions and the associated long-term health risks that afflict former football players represent a consequence of the game that leagues are increasingly hoping to mitigate. Football leagues have begun to take the view that insufficient player safety, especially with regard to head injuries, threatens the existence of the game of football itself. The Ivy League has been among those at the forefront of this trend, continuing to innovate and make the game safer.

Penn football finishes spring season with annual spring game

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Believe it or not, football season is upon us.

Penn football took the gridiron on Friday night for its annual spring game at Franklin Field. This intersquad competition marked the conclusion of the spring season for the Red and Blue, following 11 official practices, the first of which was on February 26.

The offense was dressed in white jerseys, while Carabao Cup tomorrow.United host the League One side in the third round of the Carabao Cup and will be boosted by the return of Pogba, who has missed the last three games against Leicester, Astana and West Ham.Solskjaer said: “He’ll probably get somthe defense wore blue, and even though no score was kept, there was no shortage of competition. Before starting the first session, the offense and defense came together at the 50-yard line in front of coach Ray Priore. The players could not contain themselves, jumping around and getting fired up as if it were an Ivy League game.

This level of energy continued into game play. The first few minutes consisted of individurgen Klopp is full of praise for his Everton counterpart Carlo Ancelotti.The rivalry between the two Merseyside clubs was put aside when Klopp was asked about the Italian manager’s status in the game.Ancelotti has won trophies everywhere he is gone,ual position drills, which then expanded into a short seven-on-seven session. After that, the real fun began, as the Quakers ran a full set of 11-on-11. This included various in-game situations, with the offense sometimes starting with a short field and other times having to drive 75 yards to score. The end of the session also included a couple of two-minute drills.

And while the regular season is still a few months away, it’s never too early to start thinking about who will be on the field this fall. Penn will be without a few central playmakers from last season’s roster, but there is no doubt that the Red and Blue have players who are ready to step into a starting role.

“We lost a lot of key players, obviously that happens every year, but we’ve taken some really good strides,” said junior Tommy Dennis, a two-year starter on the offensive line. “The way our program works is just next guy up, so everyone knows what they’re doing, everyone’s ready to step up…we have a lot of spaces to fill and a lot of talent to fill it.”

Of course, the most impactful loss in terms of a single player is the departure of wide receiver Justin Watson, whose records and accolades speak for themselves. With Watson, as well as tight end Nicholas Bokun, graduating this spring, the door is open for a number of receivers to fill that void.

Last season, junior Christian Pearson had the most receiving yards (225) and touchdowns (two) of all the returning wideouts, so he is sure to be an impact player in the fall. Joining him will likely be sophomores Tyler Herrick and Kolton Huber, as well as junior Steve Farrell. Junior tight end Logan Sharp will be the next man up to replace Bokun.

Even without Watson on the field next season, the team, according to Priore, will reap the benefits of the winning culture that Watson has helped to maintain at Penn.

“One of the best things that Justin brought us was an attitude and a way of how to practice and how to play,” Priore said. “And I think what he’s been able to do in his four years is sprinkle that to many of our players…it’s an opportunity for other players to step up. I think what Justin was able to do was phenomenal for our program over the last four years, and we loved every minute of it. In the end, it’s someone else’s turn to be that new number five.”

The man who will be throwing the ball to the “new number five” is also currently undecided. Leading the offense and replacing Will Fischer-Colbrie will be either sophomore Nick Robinson or freshman Ryan Glover, with the two splitting snaps equally during the spring game.

“What [Robinson and Glover] got right now is confidence; they’re getting a lot of repetitions, and they’re getting better and better each and every day, and it’s great to see” Priore said. “We just try to promote these guys to keep on competing, keep on fighting. We’re a long way from making a decision on anything right now; we’re just thankful that they improved every single day during camp.”

With Penn’s ultimate goal being a return to the Ivy League throne, morale is high after the conclusion of the spring season, and there’s a great deal of confidence that this team has championship DNA.

“I think the energy we brought this spring was what I’ve seen in the past two teams I’ve played for that won a championship,” junior safety Sam Philippi said. “Everybody’s flying around, everybody’s playing with energy, and it’s been one of the best springs I’ve ever had here.”

The Quakers hope to keep building and developing into the suys he did not check the score of Manchester City’s game after his team came from behind to win.The Reds were involved in a massive clash with Aston Villa, which they won 2-1 thanks to two late goals.Klopp admits he did not see whether City dropped pommer and ultimately the fall. And even though it is still very early, the team looks poised to put itself in a great position to win the program’s third Ivy title in four years.

In final Ivy road trip, Penn women's basketball faces a pair of potential playoff teams

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It’s crunch time.

This weekend will be a telling one for Penn women’s basketball, as the team gets ready for its second straight pair of road games. This time, it’s against the Ivy League’s joint-third place teams Harvard and Dartmouth.

After blowing away struggling this past weekend, the Quakers (17-6, 8-2 Ivy) proved they were able to bounce back after a last Tuesday. This weekend, they will be eager to continue their good form.

However, the competition will be much tougher, and the stakes even higher.

“Coming off of those wins was huge for us, but we know it’s gonna be a really tough weekend for us, probably one of the toughest we’ve had,” senior forward Michelle Nwokedi said. “So just getting mentally prepared, being the best we can, and just trying to execute will be key.”

One of the biggest components of the Quakers’ success this season is their consistent offensive output. Penn has scored 65 points or more in 15 of its 23 games so far this season, already a higher total than the three previous seasons with at least four games still to play.

Penn has also shown that it can push the score high, scoring more than 80 points in four of its games. In the team’s last two seasons, they only achieved this feat a total of three times.

“Our returning kids got ssive parts of Virgil van Dijk’s game.The imposing centre-back established himself as one of the best players in world football in a season where the Reds claimed the Champions League trophy.”What has impressed me the most with Virgil is that he’s coa little bit better over the summer, and we’re playing at a faster pace,” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “We’ve made open shots, and I think the addition of [freshman center] Eleah [Parker] in the middle is causing a lot of teams to crowd her, and it’s given our guards some good space.”

Unlike many other teams, the Red and Blue are not led by one star player. Instead, the scoring is fairly well split among the team’s starters.

Parker and Nwokedi lead the team with 11.9 points per game each, but all five starters average at least 7.7 points. With only a few points per game separating the starters, the Quakers have benefitted from one of the most even squads in the Ivy League.

“With this year, you never know who’s gonna be on,” Nwokedi said. “So many people have stepped up in different games, and in previous years it’s been one or two people leading the team, but we’re getting a lot of key contributions this year and it’s been helping us down the stretch.”

Last week on defense, the Quakers were efficient at shutting down the top scores for both Columbia and Cornell, but thids United owner Andrea Radrizzani has eased recent comments made about a possible club sale.The Italian businessman revealed in an interview that he had been approached ‘by more than 20 parties’ and that three of them were of particular interest.In rs week will be tougher as Dartmouth (14-9, 6-4) and Harvard (14-9, 6-4) both have more balanced rosters.

The Big Green have a trio of players averaging over 10 points a game and the Crimson’s starting five is the most productive in the Ivy League, so strong defense throughout the weekend will be essential for the Red and Blue to return to Philadelphia with two more wins.

However, Penn is the only one of these three teams to have seven players score over 100 points at this point in the season, a statistic that proves the Quakers’ depth and explosive bench.

Although the team only ranks fourth in the Ivy League in terms of points per game at 67.6, this year’s number is a dramatic increase from the last two seasons (61.3 and 62.5). Additionally, Penn currently averages more than league-leading Princeton, who fall just below at 67.4 points a game.

The Quakers had some of their lowest offensive efforts of the season against Princeton, where they scored only 95 combined points from the two games. If these contests are removed, Penn’s point average per game would rise to 69.5, good enough for second best in the Ancient Eight.

With the increased firepower of their offense, the Quakers are harder to beat this year than ever. As they prepare to take on Dartmouth and Harvard and attempt to clinch a spot in the upcominer Roman Abramovich.The former Blues manager returns to Stamford Bridge this weekend to face his former club.On Abramovich, Ancelotti said: “I probably spoke three times with Abramovich after leaving Chelsea. “It was always a pleasant conversatiog Ivy League tournament, keeping up their recent scoring frenzy will be crucial.

This weekend more than ever, it’s time for Penn to show what it’s made of.

Torgersen, Williams take home Ivy weekly awards for Penn football

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It may have taken four years and 30 games, but Alek Torgersen finally has his secondweekly award.

The Penn football senior quarterback, recipient of Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors for his first-ever appearance against Cornell in 2013, was named the conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, the second such award for his career.

Torgersen was joined by a teammate on the other side of the field, as sophomore defensive back Mason Williams was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time of his career.

It is the third time in the last four weeks the Red and Blue have had a player get the award, as junior defensive lineman Louis Vecchio won it last week and sophomore defensive back Sam Philippi brought it home on Oct. 31.

With a second-quarter interception against Cornell, Williams became the first Penn player to record six picks in a season since Ross Armstrong in 1984.

Torgersen concluded his career with a bevy of program records, including total yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage. He becamrry Winks admits he models his game on Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or Luka Modric.Winks also takes inspiration from Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong.The midfielder told the London Evening Standard: “I compare myself to De Jong and Modric and I take it as ae just the eighth player in Ivy League history to surpass 7,000 career passing yards, which he did during his 284-yard performance on Saturday.

Along with junior wide receiver Justin Watson, Torgersen has been one-half of the most productive duo in Penn history. In 29 games together over the course of the last three years, they combined for 192 receptions, 2,456 yards and 17 touchdowns, all program records for could be ready to play his first game for the club.Welbeck signed on a free transfer after being released by Arsenal at the end of last season.Gracia will be hoping that he can count on the Englishman to add much needed quality and pace to his attaca single partnership.

For his part, Watson has been named one of 15 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player iner their Champions League shock at Liverpool.He is not the only one to be hurting as he admitted that his players had felt the impact of defeat too.”We’re hurting, I won’t deny it, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our fans,” the coach admitt the Football Championship Subdivision each year. Watson led the Ivy League in receptions (89), receiving yards (1,115) and touchdowns (8) this season, setting program records in each of the first two.

Two other finalists for the award, Chase Edmonds of Fordham and Troy Pelletier of Lehigh, played against Penn this season, with the Rams and Mountain Hawks handing the Quakers two of their three losses on the year.

The Quakers clinched a record-tying 18th Ivy league title with Saturday’s 42-20 win over Cornell, sharing the crown with Princeton after both went 6-1 in conference play.

Buchta | Penn Athletics does well by its own with internal promotions

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Last week, Penn Athletics announced the elevation of assistant squash coach Gilly Lane to head men’s coach. It was just the most recent in a string of internal promotions and Penn Athletics alums rehired by the athletic department.

While performance on the field is one thing, the treatment of those invested in Penn Athletics is of equal importance. And time and again, Penn athletic directors — Grace Calhoun and her predecessor, Steve Bilsky — have shown willingness to reward their own.

Lane’s promotion is everything we should expect out of Penn. He played for the Red and Blue, succeeded professionally outside the University, then found his way back to campus as an assistant.

And his story is by no means unique.

Take swimming coach Mike Schnur, for example. The reigning Ivy Legaue coach of the year has been a fixture in University City for over 30 years, fmarket for potential additions.Abidal is the major driving force behind Barca’s push for Rennes teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. The Ligue 1 outfit have quoted Barca over €100m to sell Camavinga this summer.Also on Abidal’s radar is AS Monaco irst as a student-athlete, then an assistant coachand now at the helm of his alma mater’s program.

Or the decision to make now-football coach Ray Priore the head coach-in-waiting under Al Bagnoli, rewarding the longtime defensive coordinator of over two decades on the sidelines at Franklin Field.

It speaks volumes that Calhoun — and Bilsky beforng back Neymar this summer from PSG – but will only kickoff negotiations after assurances.PSG have accepted it will be time to sell the Brazil captain at the end of this season and have slashed their asking price to an ‘affordable’ €150m.Barca prese her — have worked to reinforce a culture that keeps around those who bleed Red and Blue.

More than what it tells Penn Athletics staff, these moves are important for athletes as well. Not only do they build stability within programs — such as when baseball coach John Yurkow was elevated from assistant after the firing of John Cole in 2013 — but it belies a commitment to the people that make up Penn Athletics.

Perhaps most important is the way this has manifested itself even at the administrative level. As Calhoun has worked to reinvigorate student interest in sports, she made the decision last summer to make former wrestling coach Roger Reina the senior associate athletic director for external affairs.

Reina attested to the intrinsic value of bringing in staff with a Penn Athletics background in January.

“I came from when we didn’t charge for wrestling and we had a couple parents and the janitors might watch the match to where we had thousands of people coming in regularly,” he noted. “So absolutely, I know we can build fanbases, we’ve done it in the past and we’re in the process of doing it again.

“But we know it’s a different landscape to market effectively in.”

It makes a difference when you bring in a men’s basketball coach like Steve Donahue — who spent 10 years as an assistant here — or women’s basketball coach like Mike McLaughlin — who grew up, played and coached in Philadelphia prior to coming to Penn.

“Being a part of the Philadelphia area, I know what the Big 5 is… It means a lot because of where I’m from,” McLaughlin noted after taking home the city’s Coach of the Year award in March. He understands the value of the Big 5 and what it means to Penn basketball fans — because he grew up with it.

These coaches have an understanding of what Penn Athletics stands for, and they’re able to live up to its ideals because of it.

Grace Calhoun is building Penn Athletics the right way. dfielder Claudio Marchisio has hit out at those whom burgled his home at gunpoint. Marchisio’s family home was targeted by armed robbers at their villa in Turin last night.He posted to social media:“If you enter a person’s home to rob them, you’re

Penn gymnastics takes second in first home meet of season

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So close.

In their first home meet of the season, Penn gymnastics came within three-tenths of defeating West Chester, falling by a score of 190.875-190.600. The Quakers finished ahead of Centenary, who totaled a score of 186.350.

The contest, which was originally scheduled to be a dual meet with Centenary, was changed to a tri-meet as one of West Chester’s early competitions this season was cancelled due to snow.

Despite not walking away with a first-place finish, the Red and Blue had a very successful day. In front of a packed crowd in Rockwell Gymnasium, the team broke the 190-point barrier for the second time this season, falling just .025 points shy of its season high.

“We put up a good fight, we definitely finished strong, but we still just need to work on a couple things,” coach John Ceralde said.

While the team approaches every meet the same, the fact that this meet was the first home meet of the season seemed to provide the gymnasts with a little extra energy and enthusiasm.

“It was our third meet of the season, and being at home helps. The girls were pretty excited to be back home and compete,” Ceralde said.

So far this season, the Quakers have struggled out of the gates at each of their competien revealed.The Sun says United are confident of getting him to sign a new five-year deal.An offer of around £300,000 a week has been on the table since the turn of the year.But United are ready to increase that to £350,000 a week to tempt the Spantions, posting their lowest event scores on the first event. However, this was not the case on Sunday, as the Quakers began the day on the vault with a solid team score of 47.500. Sophomore Ally Podsednik led the way for the the Red and Blue, earning third place in the event with a score of 9.650.

“It’s always good to start off on the right foot, it was a strong showing and we did well,” Ceralde said.

Penn also saw a sizable improvement in their scores on the beam. The team total on the beam was 47.750, and several gymnasts improved upon their scores from previous meets. Juniors Kelly Tan and Rachel Graham both tallied scores of 9.775, which was good enough for two second-place finishes and a new personal record for Tan in the event.

“I think all of it was definitely an improvement, everyone is just trying to keep that great attitude, stay in the moment, and focus on each skill one at a time, and they did that,” Graham said.

The team also set a new season high on the uneven bars with a team score of 47.325. Sophomore Kyra Levi and senior Morgan Venuti finished second and third in the event with scores of 9.725 and 9.650, respectively.

The last event for the Quakers was the floor, where they continued to post their best event scores. The team received a e progress his fellow Chelsea youth teammates have made in recent times.Abraham is joined in the squad by the likes of Mason Mount and Kasey Palmer.While each player has obstacles in their way to a regular first team position, Abraham is happy that htotal event score of 48.025, and Levi took home second place in the event with a 9.750.

Furthermore, several freshmen stepped into the lineup and performed well, a strong indicator of success to come. In addition to Morgan Hunker, who has been in the lineup for all three meets, Alberta Massey and Nicole Swiribalus were in the lineup made their debuts at the meet. Massey earned a 9.350 on the vault while Swiribalus received a 9.55 on the bars.

“The idea was just to get them some experience, and they stepped up, and we’re pretty excited about their future,” Ceralde said.

Graham agreed with Ceralde’s sentiment.

“It’s great to see the nn has not featured at international level since he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his then-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.Zidane claims Benzema still wants to represent France, though, and believes his player to be “the best” and woew blood coming in and stepping up for sure, and we just want to see that keep going,” she added.

With several important weeks on the schedule in the next few weeks, the Quakers strong effort on Sunday is a promising sign for positive things to come. As long as the team remains consistent, they should be in good position to defend their Ivy League title and contend for the conference championship.

Penn basketball searches for change of scenery on road

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Heading into Sean Longstaff cannotenal and Manchester United have made offers for PSG striker Edinson Cavani.The Uruguayan striker is out of contract at the end of the summer and already plotting his next move.El Chiringuito says Premier League pair United and Arsenal, as well as Int wait for the new season to arrive.The youngster finally made his way into the senior team for the Magpies last season, and impressed enough to result in reports of a move to Manchester United.However, Longstaff is focusing on Na four-game road streak against a slew of Ivy foes, Penn men’s basketball — owner of the longest active losing streak in the Ivy League — is hoping a change of scenery will improve its fortunes.

While a loss to Yale last weekend was not unexpected, a 75-48 point loss is always hard to chew, and a defeat at the hands of cellar-dwelling Brown the next day did not ease the Quakers’ pain.

Since its thrilling victory over Cornell on Feb. 6, the Red and Blue (7-14, 2-5 Ivy) has gone flat from the field, failing to shoot above 35.6 percent from the floor in any of their last three matchups.

With Harvard on the horizon, the obstacles aren’t getting any smaller for a Penn squad that is sinking into the depths of the league standings.

But the Quakers are staying tough and digging deep to keep a positive outlook on the future.

“It’s funny, I was asked this question by a group of eight-year-old girls,” senior forward Greg Louis responded to the question of how the team is pushing through with Penn out of the league title conversation. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean it’s out of reach?’” Louis joked before telling the girls that “when I play I play for my teammates.”

Louis has had time to reflect over his four years, and he spoke with maturity as he gets ready to play out the end of his final season.

“Being a senior now, perspective is a little bit different. The dream of playing ball as a career, you realize that that’s not for everyone,” he said before going back to discussing the relationship he has with the current group of Quakers.

“It’s just beautiful. It’s nice to have people to come to when things aren’t going well in life. These are my brothers, and we’ll be friends for life hopefully.”

Louis is able to fondly speak about this season because the atmosphere has been incredibly positive despite the ups and downs.

“This year, this entire team has been really really focused,” he aeager to return to Premier League management.Hughton was sacked by the Seagulls at the end of last season.“I do want to get back in at the highest level that I can,” he told the Mirror, “but I’m using my time out well and very much making the mosdded. “Last year was rough, but from day one we’ve had a lot of great energy from the freshmen and focus from the coaches and guys just bought in.”

If the Quakers are to pull out a win Friday night in Cambridge, it will surely be on the heels of freshman production and Louis’s aggression on the boars. Coach Jerome Allen stressed the need to dominate Harvard down low as an integral part of Penn’s game plan.

“Having five guys locked in to every segment,” Allen said of the keys to the game. “Rebound the ball. Keep them out of the paint. Keep them off the offensive glass and kinda manage their transition looks.”

Allen also noted that he won’t be changing much for Friday’s matchup despite Harvard’s staunch backcourt.

“Our game plan will pretty much be the system, not only what it was the first time we played them, but what it’s been about throughout all year,” he said.

It should be noted that the first time the two faced off this season, Penn was dealt a crushing 65-38 defeat. The loss surely exposed holes in Allen’s game plan, and the Red and Blue will need to change something if they hope to avoid replicating January’s home loss to the Crimson (17-5, 7-1).

If the Quakers can make it past Harvard with their heads held high, there is a reward waiting in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday in the form of a rematch with lowly Dartmouth (9-13, 2-6).

Allen, however, is solely focused on Harvard, and rightly so.

“We haven’t really talked about Saturday night,” Allen said. “Our sole focus has been on the next challenge ahead with the appreciation that from a coaching standpoint that you have to prepare these guys for 80 minutes.”

Harvard is not the juggernaut it was last year when it won a game in the NCAA tournament, but with that being said, Penn will have to be firing on all cylinders to take down the Ivy League giant Friday night.

Penn field hockey walks off with season-opening win

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2012 was no fluke.

Coming off of a 9-8 campaign from a year ago, Penn field hockey showed that is has what it takes to win a thrilling 5-4 victory over Lehigh in its 2013 season opener.

Things didn’t get off to an ideal start, with the Mountain Hawks (1-3) striking first less than 10 minutes into play, but the Red and Blue (1-0), a team that was goal-starved at times in last year’s campaign, would answer back in a big way.

Freshman Elise Tilton’s career started off in an ideal fashion, scoring a goal to tie the game. Senior Julie Tahan gave the Quakers the lead and Emily Corcoran expanding the Penn advantage to two with a third straight unanswered goal.

Offensively, it was a perfect storted boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his players not to rely on the FFP crisis at rivals Manchester City for Champions League qualification.Solskjaer is targeting a top-four finish after ­closing to within three points of Chelsea, ahead of Sundam. Coach Colleen Fink’s freshmen made immediate impacts, cs under mounting boardroom scrutiny after failing to improve results since replacing Arsene Wenger.The Gunners launched a disciplinary inquiry into Xhaka’s meltdown on Sunday after the furious midfielder told Emirates fans to “f*** off” as he was saptain Julie Tahan proved why she’s one of the biggest weapons in the Ivy League and all four classes accounted for at least one point.

“We need and expect everyone regardless of their year to step up and contribute.,” Fink said. “Their upside is part of what makes this season so exciting.”

But with a defensive unit that still has a few question marks, Lehigh got right back into the game, scoring goals just 62 seconds apart on a wild scramble in front of the net and a penalty stroke, leaving the game tied at three heading into halftime.

Though it seemed the Mountain Hawks carried all the momentum going into the second half, the Quakers came out swinging, attacking the net until freshman Jasmine Cole finally forced home a goal that gave the Red and Blue the lead. Penn held onto this advantage for 23 minutes, until Lehigh’s Gabby Tofig used a Penn turnover to score the equalizer with less than four minutes left in regulation.

As the clock ticked down, the game seemed destined for overtime, but an offensive corner with no time left gave the Quakers one final opportunity to come out victorious.

Holding out for a heroine, Penn found one in Elizabeth Hitti, the honorable mention All-Ivy performer from a year ago who fired in a pass from senior Sunny Stirewalt to give the Red and Blue field hockey’s version of a walk-off win.

It wasn’t perfect. With two late goals given up in the first half to allow Lehigh back into the game and then a late breakdown that saw the Mountain Hawks tie the game at four, the Quakers will need to work on finishing off halves and not giving up costly goals late.

“We had some costly turnovers out of the backfield, which was really frustrating,” Fink said. “But we will continue to dedicate time to make sure we don’t have it happen again.”

The contributions came from every class, with the stars playing like stars and role players stepping up to give the squad much needed jolts of life. The freshmen burst onto the scene in a big way, accounting for two goals, and the return of Alex Iqbal added another dimension to an already potent offense.

But the biggest thing the Quakers did was make momentum a non-factor. There were numerous occasions when Lehigh’s spirits were high, but even with their backs against the wall, the Red and Blue kept fighting bacmu Pukki went through the pain barrier on Saturday as he played the second half of his side’s draw with Leicester with a broken toe.Pukki put the Canaries ahead at King Power Stadium with a nerveless finish on 26 minutes but he suffered the injury lak, squandering any hopes of a Mountai n Hawk win with quick goals and big defensive stands.

“We respond well,” Fink said. “Our core group of girls are very competitive, and when the other team scores, we take the initiative to get the momentum back.”SEE ALSO

Penn men's soccer kicks off home stretch vs. Big Green

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Being in a city may limit our exposure to nature, but there will be no shortage of green at Rhodes Field on Saturday night.

With two shutouts in Ivy play so far, the Penn men’s soccer team is looking for another clean sheet against the Big Green in its third Ivy contest.

“We are really focusing on keeping a lot of possession this game, really working the ball around, really stretching their defense out and picking them apart that way,” senior Alex Reddy said. “Making it a little bit less of a foot race, less of an athletic battle and much more of a soccer game.”

While the Quakers (4-6-1, 1-0-1 Ivy) are coming off of a win and a tie in league play, Dartmouth (4-2-4, 0-2) is trying to come back from two close losses after a great out-of-conference display.

“They’ve had a lot of success over the years,” coach Rudy Fuller said. “They have lost two very close, difficult games in the league but they have some quality results in the season so far. They were undefeated coming into the league matches.”

The last time the Red and Blue beat Dartmouth was three years ago when they went 5-2 in league play and beat Cornell and Columbia prior to playing in Hanover. Yet the past two years, the Big Green have gotten out in front early and the Quakers couldn’t recover.

But this year is very different from last year’s 1-6 run through Ivy play — just look at the Quakers’ Ivy record thus far.

“We’ve got to get on our front foot and play aggressively and really try to pin them in their end and put them under some pressure and make them chase,” Fuller said. “But in order to do that we have to be very sharp on the ball.”

“Every year brings a new set of challenges, and I don’t expect this year’s game to be like last year’s game or two years ago,” Reddy added. “We have to expect Real Madrid.The Belgian moved from Chelsea to Real Madrid last summer, but he has yet to impress with his performances, while he has also struggled with injuries since his arrival.”If Hazard is not playing well, something happens at Real Madrid,” ht them to start fast, and we have to be ready to go off the bat. But I think coming into this game with two clean sheets, we are feeling very good about ourselves defensively and how well we will be able to compete.”

Just as the Quakers are a different team than they were last season, the Big Green have also made some changes. Former assistant coach Chad Riley took over for Jeff Cook and is in his inaugural season as head coach. However, the team doesn’t seem to have changed too radically.

“The philosophy seems to be much of the same in terms of their setup and how they play and how they look to attack and how they look to defend,” Fuller said.

With all Ivy games last weekend going into overtime, the league is more competitive than it has been in years past. But the run the Quakers have had so far gives them confidence for a promising future.

“I think we expect a very competitive game like all the Ivy League games,”b.Pique already part-owns loc star Sergio Aguero hopes to play for Independiente again before he retires.The Argentine marksman has been a revelation since arriving in Europe, starring for Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.In a recent interview, Aguero spoke about his return tal outfit Andorra FC and Blick says he made a more ambitious attempt to buy Switzerland’s FC Lugano.A meeting took place a few days ago in Ticino between Pique and Lugano president Angelo Renzetti. However, both parties c Reddy said. “We are in a pretty good run right now, and we hope to continue that this weekend.”SEE ALSO

Penn sprint football bests alumni, 26-12

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On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Penn sprint football fans got their first glimpse of the 2013 Quakers’ explosive offense.

And that explosive offense coupled with a hard-nosed defensive front was enough to notch Penn a 26-12 victory in the annual alumnirds have fallen dramatically since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.He said, “For me, a lot of these issues come down to the attitude of the squad. The players seem to do exactly what they want, when they want. There’s no presence, no control from ab game.

The alumni game is played in two 45-minute halves, each of which opened with a couple of three-and-outs by both squads. Eventually, class of ’13 alum Whit Shaw reminded fans of his talents by making a 19-yard grab over the middle. The drive was capitalized by a 12 yard rush by class of ’11 alum Mike Bagnoli. The alumni missed the extra point, leaving the game at 6-0.

Then Penn’s offense kicked into high gear. Freshman quarterback Mike McCurdy exploded for a 25-yard run up the middle after bobbling the snap, followed by a 22-yard catch by senior Michael Bass. Penn punctuated its drive with a nine-yard sweep to the outside for a touchdown by junior running back Mike Beamish.

Immediately following the kickoff, Shaw took a beautiful pass down the seam for 70 yards, putting the score at 12-7 after a failed two-point conversion by the alumni.

The Red and Blue defense would not allow the alumni to score again, and Penn added an eight-yard Longtin touchdown from McCurdy to close out the first half.

Junior quarterback Keith Braccia showed playmaking ability by shedding two tacklers en route to a 35-yard touchdown jaunt at the outset of the second half. More importantly, the defense stepped up its efforts in the second half, as exemplified by its two picks in the period.

The game says a lot about this year’s squad. Last season, the alumni easily dispatched the Quakers, 20-0. But Saturday, the rumored potency of the offense was on full display.

Last week, junior wide receiver Nick Longtin commented thhe coming days.The Mirror says Inter will this week launch a bid for United’s £75 million want away striker Lukaku.Antonio Conte has made signing the Belgium international his number one priority and Inter are keen to make a statement by getting himat the offense hasn’t “missed a beat” in the absence of Whit Shaw. Though this was merely the alumni game, the Quakers got to show their new-look offense focused around their big-play versatility and ability to run the ball.

On the flipside, freshman defensive back Robert Diorio was a tour de force all afternoon, adding a sack and a rushing touchdown in the latter stages of the game.

Penn’s next matchup is slated for Friday at 7 p.m., at Army. Roma’s move for Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has fallen through over a signing-on bonus.TMW says Roma and Liverpool had struck terms over a deal for Lovren, who had also settled on a contract with the Giallorosso.Yesterday, Liverpool had agreed a €3m loan fee with Roma with a permanent option worth €12m, which would be triggered by 20 appearances.Lovren also agreed a €3m-a-year contract for four seasons.However, the deal has now collapsed – for the moment – after Lovren’s demands of a €1m signing-on bonus was turned down by Roma.

Penn sends two to All-American tennis tournament

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For the first time in program history, Penn women’s tennis is sending a doubles team to the main draw of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships.

Sol Eskenazi starts competition Tuesday at UCLA with pre-qualifying singles matches. Then on Thursday, Eskenazi and Jules Rodin begin doubles main draw play.

Eskenazi and Rodin are the first Penn players to be invited to the All-American tournament since Connie Hsu in 2010, and the first Quakers doubles pairing to receive an automatic bid in team history.

“I’m very, very excited and I hope that we represent Penn and show them what we have,” said Rodin, who will meet Eskenazi in California on Wednesday afternoon.

Since the Quakers duo is one of just 24 doubles pairs in the country to be selected to the main draw, Rodin and Eskenazi don’t yet know whom they will face Thursday. Teams are playing qualifying rounds this week to join the existing 24.

“[We’ve] definitely [been] trying to focus on doubles more and doing certain types of drills that will help play to our asschester United.The 18-year-old was on the fringes of the first team this season and managed two appearances from the bench under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Barcelona reportedly have an interest in the midfielder, but Gomes wants to emulate teammate Jesse Lets, plana to commit to Los Angeles FC.The SD Aucas defender, who was on-loan with Willem II last season, had an offer from Barca to sign with the B team.Sport says he’s turned down Barça and will sign with Los Angeles on a four-year deal. One of the reasony to our strong suits,” Rodin said.

She added that they are “both good whenever we’re serving and the other one’s at net,” and said this week’s focus has been on capitalizing in those areas.

Eskenazi and Rodin, currently ranked No. 35, will play their doubles matches at the Rivieger Pep Guardiola.Stones received an earful from his boss on the touchline during their 5-1 win over Atalanta in the Champions League.City maintained their winning start in the group thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.But Stones hra Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., which has been the home of the All-American Championships for the past 28 years.

Doubles finalists and consolation champions earn a spot in the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y., in November. SEE ALSO:

McHugh adds to his legacy

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There are very few ways to better finish a collegiate career than being named an All-American.

And even fewer than earning the honor twice.

Senior Brendan McHugh capped his Quakers career in Seattle this weekend with two 14th place finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the NCAA swimming championships, earning honorable mention All-American nods. He also placed 39th in the 200 individual medley with a personal best time of 1:47.57.

McHugh’s times in the breaststroke events, 53.03 and 1:55.82, were personal bests and school records.

“I didn’t go quite as fast as I wanted,” McHugh said, “but I’m still really happy.”

While McHugh’s finish was the best NCAA performance in program history, he could not outswim Princeton’s Jonathan Christensen, who currently holds the Ivy League breaststroke records. Christenson won the consolation final of the 100 breast and finished seventh in the 200.

McHugh said not beating Christensen “bothered me, but it wasn’t the end of the world. “I can only control what I do.”

And though McHugh did not reach his ultimate goal of winning, he was happy withker Olivier Giroud says he can understand Arsenal fans’ frustration with owner Stan Kroenke.On Monday, a group of 16 prominent supporters’ groups and bloggers signed a letter calling on Gunners owner Stan Kroenke to “reinvigorate” the club.Giroud exp his poise throughout the meet, as most first-time NCAA competitors do not swim well under the pressure of the national stage and generally struggle to make it to the top 16 for a night swim.

“To go there and duplicate your times and make it [to finals] is a lot harder than you might think it would be,” assistant coach Dan Schupsky said.

McHugh, however, swam in the finals of two events and said head coaches from Texas and Georgia both approached him to say how rare the accomplishment was.

“I was happy with myself that I didn’t choke,” he said.

Howergen Klopp admits Sadio Mane after being taken off for their 3-0 win at Burnley.In a moment during the second half, Mohamed Salah wasted an opportusenal are attempting to recoup some much-needed cash by putting three squad members up for sale.Arsenal will try and sell Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Carl Jenkinson.Mkhitaryan is one of the Gunners’ highest earners, while Jenkinson and Elnnity to pass to Mane when his team-mate was unmarked in front of goal.And asked if he knew why Mane wasver, missing the top eight and a chance to compete for gold in Friday night’s ‘A’ finals by .08 seconds was disappointing.

Schupsky said McHugh may have been “a little bit tense” before the swim. “That’s a little tiny tiny tiny disappointment in a fantastic list of accomplishments,” Schupsky said.

While the senior finished in the same place in both breaststroke events, he said his best night was Saturday, the final session of the meet.

“Cracking from 1:56 to 1:55 [in the 200 breast], even though it’s only two or three tenths, it still feels a lot faster, McHugh said. “I was definitely happiest about [that event].”

McHugh leaves Penn having rewritten the record books — he has six individual and four relay school records — and is excited to move on to training for Olympic Trials in June.

“This weekend gave me confidence moving forward,” he said. “A lot of confidence.”

Sushaan Modi | Time for W. Hoops to prove itself

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Ranked teams don’t normally schedule Penn women’s basketball. But this year’s team is different and needs to be challenged.

If the Quakers are to be successful this year, tonight’s matchup against No. 3 Notre Dame will be their most important game of the season.

The Red and Blue haven’t faced a player who can create her own shot as well as ND senior Natalie Novosel. They have never seen as quick, strong and agile a player as preseason All-American Skylar Diggins. They have never faced a rebounder as strong as Devereaux Peters.

But when Penn takes on the Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., the Quakers can prove to the rest of the Ivy League and Big 5 that they are a team to be reckoned with.

“I hope it’s a game where we can look the opponent squarely in the eye and not back down,” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “It presents a lot of challenges but we can’t be afraid. I’m anxious. It’s great trip for our program.”

Coming off a win against No. 7 Duke, the Fighting Irish are easily the most talented team that Penn has faced under coach Mike McLaughlin.

A 2011 Final Four team, Notre Dame has only lost once this year — to No. 1 Baylor. In fact, the Irish have beaten all four unranked opponents they have faced by an average of 40.5 points.

But for the Quakers, this game represents an important measuring stick and could not have come at a more perfect is Smalling.Smalling is currently on-loan at Roma, though no permanent option was included.Roma have now opened talks with United about a fee for the defender.A first offer of €10m has been tabled – only half of the Red Devils’ asking price at a retime in the season. At 4-1, the Red and Blue are off to their best start in program history, but their play has been anything but solid.

Penn has struggled at points during games, most notably in the second half against Rider and La Salle, but has shown a growing maturity by expertly closing out games. Against Notre Dame, however, the Quakers won’t be able to afford mistakes or mental lapses.

“[They are] a special team that was a play away from a national championship,” McLaughlin said.

With four wins already, Penn is surging with confidence. McLaughlin has been able to balance the youth of three freshmen earning major minutes and experience of forwards Jess Knapp and Jourdan Banks.

The team can only benefit from playing agaielsea manager Frank Lampard admits his side face a tough test in the Premier League opener.The Blues travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United. Speaking after a 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday,nst one of the country’s best teams, but that means showing up for a full 40 minutes.

“They have one of the best back courts in the country,” McLaughlin said. “f praise for Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe after their promotion back to the Premier League.United loanee Tuanzebe started alongside Tyrone Mings again at the centre of the Villa defence as they secured a deserved 2-1 win to return to the [We worked on] handling traps and trying to be secure with the ball, little things like that to handle pressure.”

A win, to be frank, would be a long shot. A loss by anything less than 20 points would be a resounding moral victory. But the greatest success the women’s basketball team can take away is a strong, mistake-free performance.

SUSHAAN MODI is a sophomore international studies and business major from Demarist, N.J. He can be reached at dpsports@theDP.com

Big Red presents big challenge to Quakers

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When College junior Matt Valenti steps onto the mat in the Palestra tomorrow afternoon, he will be the only Quaker competing against his opponent for the second time this season.

The 133-pound bout between No. 10 Valenti and No. 14 Mike Mormile of Cornell is one of the highlights of the weekend between the top two Ivy League wrestling teams. They last met in December, when Valenti beat Mormile at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.

Tomorrow, No. 22 Penn will challenge No. 13 Cornell in a match that will likely decide the league title. The Quakers (mbele, valued at £70million by Lyon, has shown his admiration for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.”Yes, it’s true that Tottenham is a great team, it’s a big club,” he told Telefoot.”They finished fourth in their league, they’re finalist in the Champions 9-3, 2-0 Ivy) will follow up with Columbia (4-5, 0-1) on Saturday afternoon.

Penn and Cornell (5-4, 1-0) have combined to win every Ivy League title since the 1986-87 season, as Penn has six outright titles to Cornell’s 11 in that span.

In addition to Valenti’s rematch, Friday will feature two bouts pitting ranked opponents against each other. Senior No. 18 Mike Silengo will wrestle No. 5 Troy Nickerson at 125 pounds, and No. 20 Gene Zannetti will attempt to take down No. 5 Dustin Mannotti at 157. Cornell also features ranked wrestles in the 165-, 184- and 197-pound categories.

The opportunity to win an Ivy title certainly has the team excited. In addition, if it can beat Cornell, it will the first time the Quakers have defeated a ranked opponent since taking down West Virginia in January ofre completely outclassed by PSG.Real slumped to a 3-0 Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain.A brace from Angel di Maria and a late third from Thomas Meunier saw Thomas Tuchel’s side take all three points at the Parc des Princes.”They we 2004. In fact, all three Penn losses this year are to ranked opponents.

“We try not to think of numbers and rank,” Valenti said. “We have a team with enough talent that if we wrestle our best, we can beat a team ranked higher than us, like Cornell.”

Some wrestlers, including Valenti are using the excitement and potential of the matchup to get themselves prepared.

“We’re just trying to keep the energy up and positive attitude overall,” he said. “You know we’re all very excited — that kind of comes with the match and the rivalry.”

Other wrestlers, like Silengo, don’t want to get caught up in the rivalry furor.

“I think it kind of helps to think of it as any other match,” he said.

While coach Zeke Jones certainly recognizes and appreciates the intensity of the Cornell match, he’s focused on winning two this weekend and says he must be prepared for both.

“My approach has been, since they’re already focused on it, why bring more attention to it?” Jones said. “We certainly have to realize we are wrestling two teams this weekend.”

While Columbia is definitely not the wrestling powerhouse Cornell is, the Quakers can’t wrestle lackadaisically against the Lions and expect to win.

This will be the 102nd meeting between Penn and Columbia, the third-most matches between any two schools in collegiate wrestling. Columbia features the No. 7 wrestler, Matt Palmer, in the 174-pound weight class and has some solid wrestlers in lighter weight classes as well.

The Quakers are looking forward to finishing out the regular season with four matches at the Palestra. Penn has only had three dual meets at home this season while nine have been on the road.

“I think in any sport home court advantage is always health,” Jones said. “Sleep in your own bed, eat your own food, go through yoract with Chelsea.Loftus-Cheek has signed a new five-year contract.”I’m really happy and pleased that I get to stay here for another five years. It’s the place where I’ve grown up playing and hopefully I’ll be playing here for a lot longer,” he said.ur own same patterns.”