We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the University of Pennsylvania Quakers, located in Philadelphia, PA, are up for Preview!
2012 saw UPenn go 3-10 overall, and 1-5 in Ivy League play. An early win over UNC gave hope, and late wins over Harvard, and then St. Joseph’s, stood out as potential bright spots, but overall, it was not exactly a year to remember for the Quakers. The good news for UPenn is that none of their many losses were by all that many goals. They played four Top 10 teams, and lost by an average of only 4 goals per game. That’s really not that bad.
2013 sees UPenn take on another solid schedule. The Ivy is always tough, and it will take a lot to climb that ladder. The Quakers can also get big OOC wins with games against Duke, St. Joseph’s (an up and comer), Denver, Lehigh, Villanova, and Bellarmine. Doing ok in the Ivy, and winning games against Denver, Lehigh, and Duke would be HUGE, and Penn has shown they can knock off contender level teams.
Penn scrimmages Maryland and Rutgers on Feb 2nd, then Marquette and Hofstra on the 9th. Those scrimmages will tell us more about who will be joining Tim Schwalje, Ryan Parietti, and Drew Belinsky on the offensive end. Those three return 62 points from 2012. I’m interested to see if Rob Savage can get a lot of time as a freshman, after his brother, Dan, tore it up for Penn last year in the midfield.
Brian Feeney returns in net for the Quakers, and he had a good year in 2012. As a junior, expectations should be higher, and with an experienced defense consisting of guys like Anthony Santomo, Reid Tudor, and Maxx Meyer, Penn should be better defensively, hence the higher expectations. The Penn D closing the gap just a bit could give the offense the confidence it needs to score more.
It all starts with defense for Penn this year. They have experience and were able to keep games close last year, even with top teams. If the D steps up again, and the offense responds, the Quakers could immediately compete in the Ivy League. If Joe McCallion answers with improved face off play, they will be in the hunt and competitive with anyone. I don’t think this is the breakout year for Penn, but it should be an improvement over 2012, and a step in the right direction.
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, and Ohio State!