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  • Penn baseball enters season with high expectations and an Ivy League title in its sights

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    The regular season hasn’t even started yet, but Penn is already the team to beat.

    The 2019 baseball season ended in a devastating fashion, with the Quakers dropping from second to fourth place on the final day of the regular season and falling right out of contention for the Ivy League Championship. But that’s all in the past now, and Penn i harbours hope of joining Spanish giants Real Madrid.The former Ajax ace missed out on a move to the Bernabeu over the summer after Real raided Chelsea for Eden Hazard.But that has not dampened his hopes of Madrid being his next destination, followins topping the preseason polls from and as the early favorite to win the Ivy trophy and earn a berth to the NCAA Championship.

    Despite last season’s unfulfilling ending, the Red and Blue have a lot to be proud of. Offensively, Penn led the Ivy League in almost every hitting category, including team batting average (.334), runs (354), and hits (533). The Quakers finished the season with the second-highest batting average out of all Division I teams, and this year they intend to preserve that offensive dominance.

    One might expect that the graduation of two offensive powerhouses, catcher and first baseman Sean Phelan, could put a dent in those stats. O’Neill led the 2019 Quakers in batting average (.405) and on-base percentage (.527), while Phelan had the most hits (65), including 18 doubles and six home runs. However, the Quakers are confident that the depth of their roster will more than make up for the loss of two of their captains and All-Ivy honorees.

    “Losing O’Neill and Phelan — that was a big loss, but honestly I think they left us in a good place,” sophomore infielder Josh Hood said. “Their leadership last year was over-the-top awesome, so I think we definitely have the talent here to make up for that. And we’re in even better shape having [had] their leadership and their imprint that they left us to build on.”

    The rest of the lineup is likely to stay relatively intact, with the Quakers returning six starting position players, among them four of eight total . That list includes the 2019 Ivy League Rookie of the Year in Hood, who led the team with eight home runs and 25 extra-base hits. His .331 batting average was good for fourth on the team in his first collegiate season.

    “I just plan to keep the same game against FIFA's two-window transfer ban.The only change to the ban, which was given for breaching rules for signing foreign players under 18 years of age, is that the west London club can sign U16 players from the UK during the suspension period.The plan,” Hood said. “I’ve always been the type of guy that’s always trying to get better, so I never try and look at my past accomplishments as a ceiling.”

    Fellow first team All-Ivy selection in 2019 and one of three captains, senior outfielder Peter Matt, will also look to lead the Quakers offensively. Matt was a serious threat on the basepaths last season, leading the Ivy League with 46 runs and notching a team-high 14 stolen bases.

    For a real shot at the Ivy Tournament, however, defensive development must be a priority for the Quakers. Penn had the most errors (56) and second-lowest fielding percentage (.964) in the Ivy League in 2019.

    “I will say I think we’re more athletic defensively,” coach John Yurkow said. "Our foot speed is better. I think our arm strength is better all around, so I think you’re going to see a pretty significant improvement, especially with the infield defense.”

    Penn will also feel the loss of O’Neill behind the plate, as he had cemented himself as one of the best catchers in the Ivy League throughout his four years at Penn. The starting job looks to be taken over by junior Jackson Petersen and sophomore Andrew Hernandez, who each saw some time on the field last season.

    “I don’t know if you ever replace a player like Matt O’Neill, but I’d like to think [Petersen and Hernandez] will be able to pick up the slack and do a very good job for us,” Yurkow said. “They both had very good summers in summer ball and came back and played well in the fall. I feel pretty confident about those two guys being able to fill in there.”

    The Red and Blue pitching staff will be spearheaded by senior Christian Scafidi, reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year and one of Penn’s captains. Coming off a junior season with an ERA of 2.62 and 59 strikeouts, Scafidi will lead a veteran rotation on the mound that includes seniors Mitchell Holcomb and John Alan Kendrick.

    Left-hander Joe Miller will be another name to watch in the bullpen. The sophomore posted an ERA of 4.76 and totaled 41 strikeouts in his rookie season for a record of 4-1.

    A younger pitching class might be on the rise, too. In D1Baseball’s preseason poll, freshman left-hander Owen Coady was projected to receive the Ivy League Rookie th no lofty goals.Sanchez Flores said he is pleased to be returning to further develop a project that he helped with in its earlier stages, but that his primary focus is avoiding relegation."I felt happy that the team kept growing," he said."And I'm of the Year honor in 2020.

    Coady won’t be the only freshman looking to make an impact in his first season with the Quakers.

    “There’s definitely some guys who I think as the season goes on will get some opportunities, some of the younger players. I just don’t know how long it’ll be,” Yurkow said. “That’s one of the good things about having depth and having all the older guys back: you don’t really have to rely on freshmen. So it’ll be nice to sprinkle them in so they can get their feet wet.”

    There are also changes in the coaching staff this season. New assistant coach Joe Brooks has replaced Will Kaufman, who left the Quakers at the end of the 2019 season to serve as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at NCAA Division II Erskine College.

    The Quakers’ first test will come this weekend when Penn travels to Marietta, GA to face Kennesaw State for a three-game series. Ivy play will commence March 21, when the Red and Blue host Dartmouth at Meiklejohn Stadium.

    If all goes according to plan, the Quakers might have a shot at their first Ivy League title since 1995. But right now, they need to take it one game at a time.

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  • Who will step up for Penn women's squash after Reeham Sedky's departure?

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    If you love something, set it free.

    That’s a lesson Penn women’s squash had to learn when superstar Reeham Sedky graduated last spring. In her wake, Sedky leaves behind an open No. 1 slot and a vacant captaincy.

    Sedky’s four seasons as a Quaker were nothing short of remarkable. As the resident No. 1 seed since her freshman year, she helped lead the Red and Blue to two appearances at the Howe Cup finals. Sedky was named first team All-America and first team All-Ivy all four seasons at Penn and in her junior year, she became Penn’s first women’s Individual National Champion since 1996.

    She capped off her stellar collegiate career by earning the Betty Richey Award in February, the most prestigious individual women’s collegiate squash award bestowed by the College Squash Association.

    “[She’s left a] huge void,” coach Jack Wyant said. “You can’t replace a player ewcastle United hero Ollie Bernard believes there's much more to come from Allan Saint-Maximin.Bernard admits he saw plenty of the Toon winger last season at Nice.Bernard said: "I met him more when he was in Nice, and then here I haven't had the chanlike Reeham. She’s a generational talent. [She was] virtually a win in just about every match she played for Penn.”

    Since her graduation, Sedky has turned her focus to the professional squash circuit, most recently winning the 2019 MTC Squash Russian Open this past August. As the No. 2 seed, she upset No. 1 Emilia Soini of Finland in three games to win the championship match. This secured her third victory in a row on the Professional Squash Association World Tour and qualifies her for the 2019-2020 CIB PSA Women’s World Championship, one of the biggest events in professional women’s squash.

    Needless to say, Sedky is doing better than fine in her first season as a full-time professional. But the question remains: what about the Quakers?

    In terms of leadership, the Red and Blue are in good hands with their current captains, senior Jessica Davis and junior Julia Buchholz.

    “We have terrific captains this year,” Wyant said. “Jessica Davis [is] a great communicator [and] a really caring teammate. And Julia Buchholz is a junior. She’s just a classic overachiever. She’s had a very amazing career for us. Those are two very deserving captains.”

    Both upperclassmen have proven themselves capable of leading by example. Last year, Davis earned first team All-Ivy honors after matching her career high of 11 wins in a season. Bouncing back from an injury-plagued sophomore year where she only appeared in four matches, Davis was indispensable at the No. 2 slot.

    “I wantto make sure that everyone on this team has the confidence that they can go out and win a match,” Davis said of heise at Arsenal.Sport says Arsenal have opened negotiations with Aubameyang over a new contract at the club.Aubameyang has two years remaining on his existing deal at the Emirates, but the Gunners are keen to secure his future through to 2023.Since jor leadership goals for this season. “Whether you’re at the top of the ladder, or whether you’re at the bottom of the ladder, everyone has every chance of taking a game, taking three games, taking a whole match, whatever. I just want everyone to believe that they’re in the best position to give a great performance.”

    Meanwhile, Buchholz competed at the No. 4 slot, tallying 10 wins on the season last year. Along with Sedky and junior Haley Scott, Buchholz was one of only three Quakers to record a win in Penn’s eighth-place finish at the Howe Cup in 2019.

    In addition to their seasoned core of veterans, Penn will also look towards a talented freshman class to fill Sedky’s shoes. The Quakers welcomed a relatively large class of five this year, with athletes hailing from the United States, India, and Egypt.

    The new faces haven’t changed the team dynamic in any capacity.

    “More freshmen have come in, and tketed a combined €321.8 million (US$357.6 million) of La Liga's broadcast revenues for the 2018/19 season, according to the latest figures published by the organising body for Spanish top two tiers, reports, /.La Liga distributed a total €1.42 bihey all offer something incredible to the team that we didn’t obviously have last year,” Davis said. “But I feel that the team is gelling just as well as it did.”

    Freshman Ashley Manning is one name to watch. The New York native starts her Penn career ranked No. 52 in the United States. Manning also brings a wealth of experience with USA Squash, having competed earlier this year at the 2019 US Junior Squash Championships and in 2018 by representing her country at the British Junior Open.

    “While it’s impossible to replace Reeham," Wyant said, “Maybe we’re doing it with five for one.”

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  • Two weeks out from the Ivy Tournament, here's where Penn basketball stands

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    As the 2018 Ivy League Basketball Tournament approaches for the men’s and women’s teams, there is much left to be determined. The last two weeks of conference play will decide which teams qualify for the tournament, as well as where those teams will be seeded.

    Ahead of the men’s tournament, the race for the number one seed has only two contenders left: Penn and Harvard. The two teams both stand at a record of 9-1 in conference games, following to Harvard just over a week ago. The Crimson got their only Ivy loss of the season in an early February game at Columbia.

    The two powerhouse programs will face off this weekend in a game that will have big tournament implications.

    While Penn and Harvard are both guaranteed a spot in the tournament due to their near-perfect records, the last two spots are open for almost anyone. Yale, at 5-5, leads the rest of the league, while Brown, Cornell, and Columbia all trail with a record of 4-6. A lot will be sorted out this weekend, when Yale and Brown each face off against Cornell and Columbia in New York.

    Princeton, at 3-7, and even Dartmouth, at 2-8, still are contenders for the four-seed, if they can win out and other key games fall into place. It’s not impossible, as Penn demonstrated last year when they made the 2017 tournament with a 6-8 record and out.

    The Tigers, who won the inaugural tournament last year and nearly beat Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64, have fallen off significantly from last season, and are now long shots to make the tournament. After starting conference play 3-1, Princeton is on a six-game slide heading into its Friday matchup against Harvard. The Big Green will also be tested this weekend when they face the Quakers, a team that beat them handily earlier this season.

    As for the women’s tournament, the Quakers fell to 8-2 after suffering a season sweep by Princeton earlier this month. They now trail the Tigers, who lead the conference with a record of 9-1. In order for Penn to reclaim the top spot in the conference, another tManchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has penned pre-contract terms with PSG, it has been revealed.Off contract in June, Herrera has baulked at committing to new terms with United.And AS reports Herrera has signed a deal with PSG to 2023.The agreement will be worth €8m-a-year with the 29 year-old to join PSG this summer on a Bosman.As yet, neither club has confirmed the reports.eam must beat Princeton.

    Also in the running for a top tournament seed are Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale, all tied at 6-4. Although they could pass Princeton and Penn, it would take a near-perfect end to conference play. The three tied schools do not play each other again this season, which means they could enter the tournament together in a three-way tie.

    To make matters even more complicated, all three teams split their season serieeenwood has earned a new chant!The Red Devils teenager scored his first senior goal for the club against FC Astana to get his team a 1-0 win.And the crowd were sufficiently hyped for the academy product's performance, as evidenced by the new chant.Ths 1-1, which means that if they end the season tied, their records against other teams in the league could decide who makes the tournament.

    No team is guaranteed a spot in the tournamhe LaLiga.After PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's blast for the club's big name players over the weekend, it's been suggested super agent Pini Zahavi has made contact with Real Madrid and Barcelona on Neymar's behalf.However, broadcasters BeinSport,ent yet, but Princeton can secure a spot with one more win. As far as the rest of the field, only Columbia is mathematically eliminated from contention, although it would take a lot for Cornell or Brown, both 2-8, to find their way into the tournament given the records of the five teams ahead of them.

    With almost all Ivy men’s and women’s basketball teams still eligible for a tournament appearance, nearly every game this weekend will be an exciting showdown with huge tournament implications.

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  • Penn sprint football's Tracey Woods anchors defense despite inexperience

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    Penn sprint football wrapped up its fourth consecutive win to start the season this past weekend to head into an bye week still undefeated.

    Of the multitude of players who have raised their game this season, junior defensive back Tracey Woods has stood out as one of the most improved players on the roster. If Woods seems like a new face, it’s because he is only in his first year with the Quakers. In fact, he hadn’t played football at all for the last six years.

    Through four games, Woods has four pass breakups and one interception to go along with 10.5 total tackles. Looking at the how the defense has done this year as a whole also shows Woods’ importance to the team.

    Penn’s defense has allowed only four passing touchdowns through its first four games, wAston Villa defender Tyrone Mings will make his England debut against Bulgaria on Monday night.The 26-year-old has been impressive form this season.Gareth Southgate will use to centre-back to replace Michael Keane. The Everton defender delivered another poor display in Friday's loss to Czech Republic.hile picking off the opposing quarterback a noteworthy 13 times. This secondary is not just opportunistic though — they have proven capable of shutting down the opposing team’s passing attack each week by only a Vardy.Elder left the King Power Stadium in the summer to sign a three-year contract with the Tigers.Elder reckons that both Bowen and Vardy possess similar qualities which makes them both clinical in front of goal."I've said it to a lot of lads, a lllowing 5.5 yards per passing play. For contrast, Penn’s offense has averaged 10.1 yards per passing play this season.

    Though it may seem like a surprise that one of the team’s top players played his last football game before this season six years ago, Woods’ childhood experience with the sport and dedication to re-learning the game this offseason paved the way for the his successful season thus far.

    Woods’ football career began when he was just in elementary school, but by the time he reached high school, he began to develop interests in other sports, joining the cross country and bowling teams for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. Though he was no longer playing organized football, his love for the sport never dwindled. Woods admitted that quitting football was a regrettable decision.

    “In hindsight, it wasn’t the best choice,” he said, “because every every year I didn’t play I just missed being on the field, and it’s not really something you can just recreate in a pickup game.”

    Joining the sprint football team this year allowed Woods to finally get the feeling back that he had lacked since before high school.

    Picking up a sport after a six-year layoff is not an easy task. To further complicate matters, Woods was also making the transition from wide receiver to cornerback. The difference between focusing on the quarterback, as he had learned as a wide receiver, and staying with his man as a cornerback was hard at first, and Woods will be the first to tell you that duringreturn to Chelsea.Obi is happy Frank Lampard is now in the Stamford Bridge hotseat. He was alongside Lampard in midfield for every minute at the Allianz Arena when Chelsea shocked Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final - sharing the dressin the spring, he struggled at practice.

    “I was used to playing receiver and having the ball thrown at me,” he said. “So now I’m here at practice paying attention to the quarterback rather than the guy I’m supposed to be covering and just blowing coverage in every rep.”

    Over the summer he studied defensive footwork and technique, learning how to read a receiver’s hips, how to play both man and zone coverage and bait the quarterback into a risky pass. When it came time for preseason practices in August, Woods was a whole new player, ready to take on the daunting task of a starting cornerback role.

    Woods has been around successful football teams before. As a senior in high school, his school’s team featured current LSU superstar Leonard Fournette, who led the team to an 8-1 regular season. Though Woods was not a member of the team, he still felt the energy such a successful season was able to bring to the school, and for Penn sprint football that same type of energy is currently there.

    “This whole year the coaching staff has been saying this is a special team,” he said, “and now it’s time for us to finish it.”

    With a 4-0 record, big wins over Navy and Army, and only three games left on the schedule, this could be the year they do secure the title, on the back of Woods and the defense’s strong play.

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  • Freshman forward rounding into form for Penn basketball

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    Matt Howard sprinted down the court, poised to finish off a fast break that would push Penn closer to an upset of Columbia and cap off the best weekend of the rookie’s young collegiate career.

    But Columbia’s Luke Petrasek swatted the ball out of Howard’s hands as he went for the lay-in, ruining the moment and briefly killing the energy in the Palesta.

    Rather than get down on himself, Howard kept working. On the Lions next possession, he hustled back down the court, used his fantastic vertical leap to reject a shot and sent the ball flying into the stands.

    It’s that passion and athleticism that made Howard appealing to so many schools coming out of high school.

    But with offers from Stanford and Virginia Tech on the table, Howard ultimately chose to play for Penn, providing coach Jerome Allen with a player boasting an incredible basketball IQ.

    The freshman from Columbia, S.C., has never had any problems with his basketball knowledge. Even as a young player at A.C. Flora High School, Howard knew the game well.

    Instead, the aspect of Howard’s game that needed the most development was his leadership ability.

    “Matt never had a problem working at the game of basketball, but I believe his matriculation as a person is one that cannot be measured,” Howard’s high school coach, Leon Brunson, said. “As each year passed, I began to see him embrace the leadership role. That was the defining moment of his basketball career.

    “He not only took responsibility of his actions but the actions of his team as well.”

    That growth as a leader paid off, as Howard guided his squad to a regional title his senior year, leading the team to a 22-7 record and setting an example for the rest of the team.

    “My biggest Matt Howard moment was seeing his smile after we won the school’s first conference championship in 25 years,” Brunson said.

    Since coming to Penn however, Howard has faced the typical freshman struggles, as the college game was a little too fast for him at first.

    “It’s been tough,” Howard said after Penn’s game against Columbia on Feb. 8. “It’s been a big adjustment. But I just started working harder and harder to be able to play in big games like this and be able to contribute.”

    Howard felt that growth begin to happen about a month ago. He freshman spent long hours working on his ball handling and shooting so he could become a viable option for Allen coming off of the bench as the season progressed.

    Howard’s work ethic was so strong that Allen could do nothing but root for his freshman to continue to grow.

    “[Allen] always told me to keep working hard, to keep pushing myself,” Howard said. “Because my time will come.”

    That hard work finally paid off this past weekend, as Howard’s efforts were instrumental in getting Penn back into the Ivy race.

    Allen told Howard heading into the game against Cornell that he would get minutes, and after his strong play on Friday night, Allen trusted him again on Saturday.

    After posting seven points against the Big Red, Howard was all over the floor against Columbia. The signature moment of the night saw Howard drive to the right, feel contact and finish for an and-one that may have been the most acrobatic play made all year by someone in a Penn uniform.

    His ability to handle contact was one of the reasons Brunson believed Howard would succeed at the next level so long ago — a memo Columic.The 20-year-old was rewarded for breaking into the first-team this season with a brand new four-year contract.And Willock was quick to point out his dad today to sign with PSG.RMC says terms between the two clubs were agreed last night, with both sporting director Leonardo and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on a call with Inter GM Beppe Marotta.Inter have agreed a straight loan arrangement with no per's role in his career."It's no exaggeration to say that my dad gave me the type of work-rate thbia coach Kyle Smith never received.

    “Good athlete,” Smith said of Howard. “We didn’t have enough scouting. Really good athlete that could make a shot.

    “He’s a real good player with a bright future.”

    Allenf the Champions League final.With fellow centre-backs Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, Sanchez is part of a defence tasked with snuffing out a Liverpool attack known to be one of the most deadly in Europe.And he has been studying DVD of Mo Salah wasn’t shy to admit Howard’s impact either.

    “Matt was tremendous,” Allen said after Penn’s win over Columbia. “Last night, tonight, we ran plays for him. He had the right reads, defensively, on the glass.

    “Without Matt, I’m not so sure we win today, or yesterday.”

    Howard’s smile following the Columbia win probably wasn’t as big as the one he sported after winning his conference championship last year. But, more than anything, this past weekend was a sign that there are even wider smiles and bigger moments on the horizon for this talented freshman.

    “To help my team to win a game,” Howard said. “That’s what I’m here for.”

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  • A toast to tradition, transvestites and Pennsylvania football

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    Greer Cheeseman heads onto the field at the end of the third quarter already knowing how this toast toss — the first of the 2013 season — is going to go.

    As the director of the Penn Band, he’s seen his fair share of toast tosses.

    The band strikes up “Drink a Highball” as Cheeseman watches on. As the song comes to an end, people throw their toast.

    And then they’re gone.

    “This is the part I just don’t understand,” Cheeseman says. “They throw their toast and then they leave.”

    It’s not entirely an exodus, as a fair portion of the crowd stays and watches on despite the fact that Penn has opened up a sizable lead against Lafayette heading into the fourth.

    But Cheeseman isn’t wrong. A large number of fans leave the stadium immediately after throwing their toast.

    For them, Penn football is about tradition.

    At Penn, tradition is everything.

    From the Econ Scream, to Hey Day to Spring Fling, the four years students spend at Penn are enriched by these moments.

    The toast toss is as entrenched in Penn’s history as any of its traditions.

    The story students hear when they arrive at Penn is that for years, fans would drink a highball at the end of the third quarter. But in the middle of the 1970s, the University banned alcohol from being allowed in Franklin Field. As a response, fans started bringing toast rather than alcohol.

    Unfortunately, the history is not quite so dry.

    “I don’t know why they say that,” Cheeseman said.

    As Cheeseman recalled, the tradition had nothing to do with alcohol being banned.

    Instead, it started on South Street.

    The Theatre of Living Arts is now a concert hall, but back in the 1970s, it was a movie theater.

    The TLA had interactive midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult phenomenon at the time. It featured the character Dr. Frank N. Furter, a transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, as well as famous actors Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf. Audience members would scream at the screen in addition to doing various acts at points in the movie.

    There’s a scene late in the movie in which the doctor raises his glass and asks for “a toast to absent friends.”

    At that point in the film during those midnight showings, audience members would throw toast at the screen.

    Cheeseman and a few of his friends were amongst those in the crowd and came away impressed.

    “I thought it was clever,” Cheeseman said. “So me and a couple of my buddies decided to try it at a football game. So at the end of ‘Highball,’ we started throwing it.

    “And from there it seemed to take on a life of its own.”

    The tradition has less to do with alcohol being banned and more to do with a fictional doctor, donned in leather and fishnets, raising his glass.

    And now, with attendance dropping every decade, the toast toss may be one of the most memorable parts of Penn football.

    People don’t come out to watch Penn football any more.

    Look back at tape from the 1950s, and the home side of Franklin Field, lower and upper decks, would be filled. The same can be said for the 1980s, when Penn averaged 29,992 fans at Homecoming.

    The toast toss caught on quickly in the ’80s thanks to the large crowds, but the new tradition had no power in keeping fans coming to games over the decades since it began.

    When Dan Shulman got a second chance for Penn to beat Harvard and take the Ivy crown back in 1982, the stands were filled. Conversely, when Penn upset Harvard last Nov. 10, only 8,910 fans were in attendance.

    The ’80s were a resurgent time in Penn football. After being the laughing stock of the Ivy League for much of the ’60s and ’70s. Success had some hand in attendance during that decade, but the times have since changed.

    After all, Al Bagnoli has been Penn’s coach for 22 years. In that time, his team has won nine Ivy League titles, yet still attendance has declined.

    And Penn hasn’t played for anything but an Ivy League title since they joined the Ancient Eight in the late ’50s.

    Now, those that want to watch football are staying home on Saturday rather than coming out to Franklin Field.

    “Penn football’s great. They’re true amateurs. I love watching them,” Cheeseman said. “But if you’re a college football fan, you’re probably staying home, watching [games] on TV.”

    In addition, there are simply other things to do on campus.

    “A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I have to do my dance group or go to my a cappella concert,” Penn Band secretary Josh Cooper said. “And [football] kind of gets pushed out of the way like a secondary thing.”

    That’s why the toast toss is so important to Penn football.

    The allure of witnessing a team compete for an Ivy championship, buying Chickie’s and Pete’s and spending a Saturday at a historic stadium isn’t enough to fill up even a fourth of Franklin Field’s capacity. It’s the toast toss that differentiates Penn from other schools, and it’s what Penn fans remember years later.

    But that Youtube moment that brings fans out, that students hear about from the time they step on campus and remember for years after they leave, has been threatened many times.

    The first threat to the toast toss came in 1988, when security guards began confiscating toast that people attempted to bring into the stadium.

    “We do not have a policy regarding toast,” Carolyn Schlie Femovich, then-senior associate athletics director, told The Daily Pennsylvanian at the time. “[chettino blanked questions about Christian Eriksen today.He refused to comment on speculation linking Eriksen with a move to Real Madrid, with Manchester United ending their interest in the midfielder as they believe he has his heart set on a move toBut] security has the leeway to confiscate any items that they deem to be safety or health hazards, as well as any items that could disrupt the competition.”

    As a response, Alan Schwarz, a former sports editor at the DP, wrote a column urging students to smuggle toast into the stadium. Had Penn Athletics had its way, there would have been no toast to throw that day, but thanks to Schwarz and his friends, the toast toss stayed alive.

    For a long while after Schwarz’ “Ocean’s Eleven” moment, Penn Athletics started providing the toast for students, but still the tradition fell under fire.

    Penn graduate Pranav Merchant wrote an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010 criticising the University for promoting a tradition that is a waste of food. He argues that throwing $2,500-worth of food when just blocks away people are living in poverty is ignorant.

    Three years later, he still believes his argument.

    “I grew up with the mentality to respect food,” Merchant said. “To see people take food and just throw it like that is disrespectful.”

    The article raised questions around the Penn community, questioning whether the tradition should be continued. Ultimately, Merchant’s claims fell on deaf ears and the tradition stayed alive.

    Just last year, Penn Athletics decided to stop providing toast, calling for student groups like Red and Blue Crew to take the charge.

    Head of Red and Blue Crew, Jonathan Cousins, presumed everything would work out until he arrived at Skimmerfest that day and saw that no one had toast with them.

    “I said, ‘You know what’s going to happen? All thwas heavily linked with Tottenham and Chelsea.
The German club have reportedly paid €27m for Piatek.“I'm so happy that this transfer got done," Piatek told Hertha's official website. "The way this club is going really convinced me that this wase freshmen are going to come. No one’s going to have any toast. We’re gonna sing the song. There’ll be like 10 pieces of toast thrown by people that brought it,’” Cousins said.

    “It could have died.”

    Ultimately, Penn Athletics helped Red and Blue Crew have bread delivered to the stadium and the crisis was avoided, keeping the tradition alive for ahe potential of teammate Joao Felix.The 20-year-old came on as a second-half substitute against Villarreal, scoring the third in a 3-1 win."Everyone can see what is expected of Joao, he's a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement," Koke sainother day.

    Penn Athletics Director Steve Bilsky is a fan of the tradition.

    “I think it’s a great tradition,” Bilsky said. “I think it’s fun. I’m a big tradition guy, and when you have something that works, keep it.”

    But for Penn Athletics, tradition and money are inextricably linked, serving as another potential threat to the toast toss.

    “I’d like to sell every year,” Bilsky continued, “to the class that’s having its 25th reunion, I’d like to sell the [toast] zamboni to them that year.”

    The third quarter comes to a close as Penn and Dartmouth are locked up in a tight battle on Oct. 5, with the Quakers up one touchdown.

    As toast rains down from the stands, so do the fans. Not as many supporters leave as during the Lafayette game, but still a fair portion of the crowd vacates the stadium.

    Those who stayed were treated to the longest game in Ivy League history, a four-overtime thriller including a blocked kick by senior linebacker David Park to send the game into overtime just when it looked like Dartmouth had it sealed up.

    But the people that left after the toast toss weren’t there for the football anyway.

    “I’ve seen it more and more over the last five or ten years,” Cheeseman said. “More and more people come for the first quarter, stay through halftime, stay for ‘Highball,’ throw the toast, and then there’s an exodus.

    “It’s ‘I came, I saw. I threw. I’m outta here.’”

    Had Cousins’ worst fear been realized that day in 2012, had no toast been thrown from the stands and slowly the toast toss had died, Penn football would have survived. It just wouldn’t be the same.

    More than simply losing the percentage of people who come just to throw toast, Penn football would lose a piece of its soul.

    Parents and alumni wouldn’t scramble to grab a few slices of bread before heading to the game. The band wouldn’t get together every week to make toast.

    “It’s one of those fun things that, after the fact, my parents got excited about putting some bread in the toaster before they left and bringing it down with them,” wide receivers coach and former Penn player Mark Fabish said.

    “It was important for them to be a part of the tradition.”

    While Frank toasts to absent friends in Rocky Horror, Penn fans follow the lyrics of “Highball” to a T — they tell the story of glory of Pennsylvania.

    Only that story isn’t of the heroics that happen on the football field, but the memories forged in the stands.

    “My memories aren’t about the football team going 10-0 my freshmen year. It’s from being part of something that was fun and distinctive and memorable,” Schwarz said. “And when you remove the things that make you distinctive, it’s a dangerous game.

    “Because when you take away those things, you move one step closer to being boring.”SEE ALSO

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  • All hands on deck for Penn women's basketball with Keiera Ray out

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    Adversity is something Penn women’s basketball is used to.

    In Penn’s third game of the 2012-13 season, the Quakers lost their starting point guard — then-junior guard Meghan McCullough — for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

    But luckily for the Red and Blue, freshman Keiera Ray stepped up into McCullough’s role and flourished, helping the team to a winning record.

    Yet this season, the roles are reversed.

    Ray, now a sophomore, is the one injured and will miss the first month of Penn’s season.

    “She’s been practicing with us,” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “But she hasn’t been cleared to go live with contact yet.”

    So it will be up to McCullough and others to carry the load at the start of the season. And by all accounts, McCullough is ready for the extra minutes.

    “When you are dealing with Meghan, you are dealing with trust,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a girl that will do everything that’s asked of her. She’ll play whatever role and she’s always been that way.

    “It won’t be a huge transition. She just has that knack for getting the group together.”

    While McCullough will likely be taking the bu to renew rivalries with Manchester United in the Europa League.The 31-year-old has a lot of experience of playing against United, having spent time at Liverpool in his career.Mignolet, who is in Belgium this season after a decade in England, spoke alk of the minutes at point guard, Ray’s injury gives other players like freshman Melanie Lockett a chance to take a bigger role.

    “I think it’s always a positive when someone gets to play,” McLaughlin said. “They can learn from what they’ve done.

    “I think [Melanie] will come out and succeed. She’s got the natural ability to do well so it can only help her, especially if she has early success.”

    And Lockett is ready for the beginning of the season as she begins her collegiate career.

    “I’m excited. I like it when people don’t really expect a lot of me from another team, so I just want to go and bring energy to the court,” Lockett said.

    While McCullough and others are holding down the fort in Ray’s absence, the sophomore guard will also need to adjust to a different offensive look from the Red and Blue when she returns.

    “There’s a lot more focus on the guards looking to go inside-out just because we do have such a strong post presence,” junior guard Kathleen Roche said.

    With Penn’s guards taking on more of a distributing role, the frontcourt will also be expected to step up on the offensive end with Ray not in the lineup.

    “We added depth to the post position this year, so hopefully that will offset [Ray’s absence] so that the point guard won’t need to score as much as a year ago,” McLaughlin said.

    The group is well-equipped to carry the load. The Quakers return starting forwards Kara Bonenberger and Katy Allen return along with senior captain Courtney Wilson.

    Also added to the frontcourt depth is freshman Sydney Stipanovich. The 6-foot-3 center will help give the Red and Blue a height advantage over many opponents, making Penn imposing both in the post and on defense.

    “We also have bigger guards, so we’re not an undersized team,” Roche said. “Rebounding is always a point of emphasis for us and I think if we play a zone, it will be tough for teams to rip through the zone since we have hands everywhere.”

    For now, Penn seems like it is ready to move forward withousa Dembele is not for sale.The French striker is being linked with Chelsea and Manchester United this month.Dembele scored twice in the 7-0 French Cup win at FBBP on Saturday.And Garcia says, "Moussa Dembélé, whose rumors of departure are unfoundedt Ray for the first month thanks to the team’s overall depth.

    “I think [our depth is] what will separate us from other teamsis debut for Tottenham in their draw at Manchester City.A deadline day loan signing from Real Betis, the Argentine international replaced fellow countryman Erik Lamela in attacking midfield five minutes from the end of normal time in what was a stern,” Roche said. “We have three or four people at each position that can really compete.”SEE ALSO

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  • Jaffe | Lesson learned: Don't doubt the Bagnoli System

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    For much of the first half at Saturday’s Penn-Cornell game while I sat in the press box at Schoellkopf Field, I questioned coach Al Bagnoli’s strategy. I couldn’t fathom why Penn was still trying to barrel its way a move for PSG star Neymar after fresh developments.Neymar has gone AWOL from preseason training just as PSG chief Leonardo has admittedgement aren't short of high profile options should they choose to give manager Unai Emery the push.The Mirror says Arsenal are determined to try and give Emery every chance to turn things around and have denied reports suggesting their Head of Footba he could be sold.Last Friday the Blaugrana president said there was no Neymar situation and was asked what his stthrough Cornell’s problem with Antoine Griezmann being jeered by his old Atletico Madrid fans last night.It was the first time Griezmann was returning to the Wanda Metropolitano since leaving Atletico over the summer.Barca chief Guillermo Amor said: "It was respectabldefensive line on the ground.

    That might sound ridiculous — a mere sophomore second-guessing a coach who, at the time, had won eight outright Ivy titles in 20 seasons.

    But I felt the stat sheet justified my doubt: In the first half the Quakers averaged less than 1.3 yards per carry, and they had still gone to the ground more than the air.

    Penn’s last drive of the first half gave me hope. Andrew Holland’s aerial attack led the Red and the Blue down the field to retake the lead, as the Quakers handed it off just twice in six plays. The march was more than methodical — it was dominant. Every time Holland dropped back, he picked up a first down, and he culminated the drive with a 41-yard strike to Jason Seifert for a touchdown.

    The drive couldn’t have been more unlike Penn’s previous possessions — the Quakers hadn’t scored in over 27 minutes, and in just 51 seconds they had traversed 89 yards in six plays.

    Surely the drive would convince Bagnoli to stick to the passing game.

    It didn’t. Out of the break, Penn came out running again. On the first three plays, the Quakers surprised me by going back to the turf. Apparently, they surprised Cornell too. On the fourth play, Lyle Marsh broke free down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown run.

    Bagnoli: 1. Jaffe: 0.

    I’m not the only one who has questioned Bagnoli’s system. Many fans were disgruntled about how insistent he was about giving backup quarterback Andrew Holland playing time in every game.

    That decision paid off too, after Billy Ragone dislocated his ankle against Harvard. Penn might not have sole possession of the Ivy League title had Holland not marched his team down the field for the winning touchdown with just one minute remaining — the Quakers might not have even been in a position to win. Would you want your outright title hopes on the shoulders of a quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap?

    Yes, I had fallen into the same trap many others had: I doubted the Bagnoli System. The Bagnoli System might seem obstinate, but it’s tried and tested.

    Next season, the Ivy League will be as wide open as it was this year. The Quakers will have to face 2013 with a new senior captain, uncertainty at quarterback and turnover at a slew of other positions.

    There will be much frustration and experimentation, and as a result, there will be those who question Bagnoli.

    For those fans, I say this: Wait and watch. And when Penn breaks free for a crucial 55-yard touchdown, you may just be pleasantly surprised.

    STEVEN JAFFE is a sophomore economics major from McLean, Va. He can be reached at Jaffe@theDP.com.SEE ALSO

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  • W. Hoops loses to Villanova extending streak

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    For the first time in her collegiate career, Alyssa Baron was silenced.

    In the women’s basketball team’s 52-30 loss to Villanova (12-6, 4-0 Big 5) last night, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year shot 0-for-8 from the field in her first scoreless game.

    “She’s trying to do a little too much,” coach Mike McLaughlin saod. “She’s trying to force the action a little too early too often and she needs to let the game come to her.”

    Baron’s difficulties represent the larger offensive struggles that continue to plague the Quakers (7-7, 0-3), as they extended their losing streak to five games.

    Penn led, 11-9, at the midway point of the first, but it would be its last lead of the game. The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run and closed out the frame with a 21-6 run overall. They headed into the break with a 30-16 lead.

    “[Villanova is] really good at skipping the ball and gr Bosman prospect Adam Lallana.The Liverpool midfielder, who signed for the Reds from Southampton in 2014, is out-of-contract this summer and is highly unlikely to sign a new deal at Anfield. Sky Sports says as a result, he is already allowed to talk eat at getting quick shots off,” said sophomore Brianna Bradford, who had three points and three steals in 17 minutes on the floor.

    “The first 12 minutes of the game, we played the way we ack in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Sunday.Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling put the visitors ahead before Harry Wilson scored on the stroke of half-time.The Cherries returned after the break buoyed by their breakthrough and pushed City all the waneeded to play to give ourselves a chance,” McLaughlin said. “It got away from us in the last eight minutes of the half and it just spiraled.”

    The offensive problems intensified in the second half, as the Quakers could only muster one basket in the first eight minutes of play.

    “We’re leaving a lot of opportunities out there. We have transition opportunities that we’re not capitalizing on,” McLaughlin said. “We’re putting a lot of stress on our halfcourt team.”

    Villanova, ranked No. 27 nationally in to take a pay cut to join Juventus as part of a cash-plus-player deal for Joao Cancelo.City reopened talks last week with Juventus about a possible deal for the full-back.Juve want €60m to sell the Portugal international defende,And City hop to driscoring defense, built up a 22-point lead in the second, from which the Quakers could never recover. Despite Penn’s offensive difficulties, this was the first time the Quakers reached the 30-point threshold against the Wildcats since 2005.

    Though Baron played a team-high 31 minutes on the court, she could find no success against Villanova’s tight defense.

    “I think we all fell victim to it, not just [Baron],” Bradford said.

    Baron’s previous career-low scoring output was seven points — once against St. Joseph’s on Saturday and last year against Lafayette.

    “We’ve got to move the ball quicker. We’ve got to be able to beat their player off the dribble. We have to finish around the basket,” McLaughlin said.

    After going unbeaten in the first three Big 5 games of the season, the Wildcats’ victory ensured them the Big 5 championship title, their 13th under coach Henry Perretta.

    The Red and Blue will have to jump-start their offense if they want to snap their five-game skid when they face Temple on Saturday in their final tune-up before Ivy play resumes.

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  • Football schedule sees little change in '09

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    It's already that time again. Just two days after men's basketball was virtually eliminated from Ivy League championship contention, the first step toward the next football season took place.

    Penn Athletics released the 2009 football schedule around noon yesterday. With the Ivy League slate secured through 2023, there was little room for surprises when the announcement was made.

    There were only two major changes from last year's lineup. Instead of going on the road for two of their three non-conference games, the Quakers will host two and travel for one this year. The other change also rests in the non-conference schedule; last year's trip to Georof Europa League qualification.Palace head into their match against Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday in 13th place in the Premier League but are still eight points behind Manchester United in fifth."We are an awful lot of points off the teamsgetown was replaced by a homestay against Bucknell, which Penn last faced in 2006 when it won, 34-24, in Lewisburg, Pa a surprisingly comfortable afternoon for Barcelona given Eibar's tendency to lift their game against the big teams at home."Ipurua is the litmus test," he said."They put a lot of pressure on you."You have to be very attentive to defend-add-ons-Brentford-Folarin-Balogun.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail says Brentford have had a bid rejected for £5m plus add-ons for Balogun. The Gunners turned down an offer and the Championship promotion hopefuls could face shock competition for Ba these crosses., and Joe Sandberg was still carrying the rock for the Quakers. The then-senior rushed for 112 yards on 12 carries in that game.

    The Red and Blue have started each of the last three seasons against inter-city rival Villanova as well as Lafayette. Not only do these two teams remain on the schedule in 2009, but the games will also stay in the same venues. The Quakers host the Wildcats on Sep. 19 and travel to Easton, Pa., on Sept. 26 to take on the Leopards.

    Last year at Franklin Field, Villanova's Salim Koroma recovered a Bradford Blackmon fumble in overtime to seal a 20-14 win. The following week against Lafayette, Penn fell behind 24-0 in the first half and a valiant comeback effort fell short as the Leopards held on, 24-17. That victory gave Lafayette their first back-to-back wins over Penn since 1980-82.

    After those two rematches, the Quakers head up to Hanover, N.H., to kick off Ivy League play against Dartmouth before returning home for the Bucknell game.

    As usual, the Ivy League games will alternate from last year's sites. In addition to Dartmouth, the Quakers will travel to Columbia as well as to the homes of 2009 Ivy League co-champions Brown and Harvard.

    Meanwhile, Penn plays host to Yale, Princeton and Cornell, which all fell to the Quakers at their home stadiums last year.

    The game against Yale on Oct. 24 will be the 2009 Family Weekend football game, while the Homecoming game will be on Nov. 7 against Princeton.

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  • Ailing RHP happy to help out at short, too

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    When Penn shortstop William Gordon tweaked his shoulder last week, the Quakers weren't just in danger of losing their No. 6 hitter - they would havAntoine Griezmann is a Barcelona player. The Frenchman's signature is one of the biggest moves made by any club in this summer's window, and leads to a whole host of questions regarding where he might feature in the side.A versatile operator, the 28-e been a man short in the bullpen as well.

    Luckily for Penn, the freshman will be available to be the man the middle infield for this weekend's home doubleheaders against Harvard and Dartmouth. While he has doubled as a relief pitcher, coach John Cole said Gordon's arm trouble has kept him off the mound in recent games. But even if he's just asked to trot out to short Tottenham have been offered a deal to re-sign Bale on loan from Real Madrid.Bale left Spurs in 2013 when Real made him the world's most expensive footballer at the time with an £86million transfer fee.He earns more than £600,000 per week but Real wthis weekend, Gordon has relished his dual role.

    "I just try to help out whenever I can," Gordon said. "Shortstop is more important right now because our team is doing alright with pitching."

    Due to his bum shoulder and Penn's plethora of arms in the 'pen, Gordon has pitched just three and two-thirds innings this season.

    But despite his .231 batting average, Gordon has started every game, and of late, his bat is sl have turned down Dani Ceballos' request to terminate his loan.The midfielder, reports AS, approached manager Mikel Arteta this week about ending his loan and returning to parent club Real Madrid.However, Arteta has rejected the request.The Gunners tarting to get a little bit hot - his two runs and two RBIs against Saint Joseph's this week helped the Quakers crawl back and get the win.

    Cole knows what he's capable of.

    "He's a talented kid, he's a two-way guy," he said. "We need to get him back healthy so he can help us on the mound."

    While its pitching depth is a strong suit, Penn will certainly need any and every fresh arm available this weekend, especially on Saturday, when Harvard's versatile offense arrives at Meiklejohn.

    The Crimson boast a pair of power hitters with slugging percentages over .420 in right fielder Tom Stack-Babich and first baseman Steffan Wilson. Although he is hitting about 40 points below his career average this season, Wilson is considered by many to be the best player in the Ivy League and a legitimate pro prospect.

    Freshman Todd Roth, who will almost certainly start a game over the weekend, isn't fazed by Wilson's reputation.

    "I'm gonna go out and do my thing," Roth said, "and make him adjust to me."

    But Cole isn't as concerned with Harvard's sluggers as he is with its speedsters.

    Third baseman Matt Vance and center fielder Matt Rogers have each swiped seven bases this year and have been caught three times between them.

    "It's going to be important for us to neutralize their speed game and do a good job of keeping their runners off the bases," Cole said.

    Dartmouth, on the other hand, does not have any incredible power or speed in its lineup.

    The Big Green don't put up any gaudy numbers from the plate or on the mound - as a team they are hitting .269 and have an ERA of 7.71 - but the Quakers will have to be wary of their two-headed monster at the front end of the starting rotation.

    Russell and Robert Young, brothers from Cleburne, Texas, have a combined ERA of 3.82, and a start from either one could give Penn trouble.

    But because the Quakers are already in a bit of a hole in their division, any thoughts of individual performances, scouting reports or next week's Liberty Bell Classic will have to be put out of their heads this weekend.

    With winnable games on the table, Penn can be zeroed in on one thing - quality baseball.

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  • Columbia took walk down easy street for 2 wins

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    Two weeks in, the Columbia bakery has run out of cream puffs.

    For the second straight year, the Lions are 2-0. For the second straight year, they got the two W's against a pair of I-AA weaklings. And for the second straight year, the road gets much tougher in Week 3.

    Princeton at Columbia

    Last year's Lions under Bob Shoop rode the momentum of the 2-0 start into a 43-3 loss at Princeton.

    Now Shoop is gone, the matchup of undefeated teams has shifted to New York and new Lions coach Norries Wilson gets his first test in front of the homecoming crogood impression on the players.The Gunners recorded their first win under the Spaniard thanks to a 2-0 home success against Manchester United on New Year's Day.And it appears the relatively inexperienced boss is winning over the players with his innowd.

    Wilson and Co. put a serious beatdown on Fordham and held on long enough to survive Georgetown at home.

    While the Lions haven't really gotten it going on the ground, quarterback Craig Hormann has hit a variety of targets to the tune of 28-for-47 passing. But their MVP so far has been kicker Jon Rocholl, who has knocked in six straight field goals.

    They may need more than field goals to beat the Tigers, who have good wins at Lehigh and at Princeton Stadium against Lafayette. The Tigers are succeeding on the strength of a defensemo Werner is on his way to Tottenham in the summer.The German striker was linked with a move to Liverpool in the press today.Leipzig seized on the story and made a joke about it through their official Twitter account.The club issued a reply regarding that has allowed 24 points in two games and allowed just 206 yards to the Leopards.

    Don't look for a repeat of last season's blowout, but Columbia would be fortunate to win the matchups on either side of the ball.

    (23) Harvard at Lehigh

    Liam O'Hagan? Suspended

    Chris Pizzotti? Hurt

    Jeff Witt? Hurt

    Richard Irvin? Here, coach.

    Harvard will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to face the Mountain Hawks, bringing with them their fourth-string quarterback, who will start for the Crimson tomorrow. He's the fourth QB in four games, dating back to last season.

    He's also the only one with Division I-A experience.

    The Tulane transfer, who played for Harvard in seven games last season, takes on a Lehigh team that boasts a win at Villanova, but losses to Princeton and Albany.

    Despite the quarterback issues and thanks to the nation's leading runner, Clifton Dawson, the Crimson is second in the country in total offense, ranking just behind No. 1 New Hampshire.

    But it meets its toughest challenge yet against a Lehigh team that ranks 21st in the country in total defense.

    Brown at Rhode Island

    The 91st meeting between the state's two Division I programs will be marked by two teams coming off tough home losses in conference play.

    The Bears got run over by Dawson and the Crimson last week, while Rhode Island fell in Kingston to No. 17 Delaware.

    Brown leads the series 66-22-2, and to capture the Governor's Cup for the third straight season, it will have to improve against the run. Rhode Island boasts a three-man rushing attack, which has the Rams ranked fifth in the nation with 243.3 rush yards per game - one spot better than Harvard.

    (22)Albany at Cornell

    After being shut down by Yale, the task gets no easier against an impressive Albany defense and a Great Danes team that is ranked for the fi land a move to Manchester City.Neville coached Cancelo during his short spell in charge of Valencia.“I absolutely love him to bits. To be fair, when I was at Valencia I wanted United to sign him, at the time they could have got him for £25m and hrst time in its history.

    Albany places 10th in the nation in points allowed and 14th in total defense, while the Cornell offense has scored just 12 points in two games.

    After seeing film of Albany shutting down then-No. 11 Delaware the Big Red knows it will need a much better effort than that.

    Yale at Lafayette

    The wannabe Ivy Leaguers play their third straight Ancient Eight team when they welcome the Elis to Fisher Field.

    The Leopards opened their renovated stadium with a loss to Penn, then went on the road last week and got shut down by the Princeton defense.

    The Elis showed a lot in bouncing back from a bad home loss to San Diego to beat Cornell. But a win at Lafayette would take another big step up.

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  • Great beginnings, Greater goals

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    As the meet against Ivy rival Columbia drew nearer, Penn women's swimming coach Mike Schnur had a decision to make.

    Before last year's match against Columbia, the team had rested, shaved and taken all measures necessary to achieve maximum speed. Still, they could not overcome the Lions.

    This year, Schnur did things a little differently.

    "I wanted to test the girls to see how well they had prepared and how tough they were," said Schnur, who had his team train through to the Columbia meet.

    The team passed his test with flying colors last Friday.

    The Quakers (3-1, 2-1 Ivy) surpassed the Lions (2-3, 1-3) 157-143 in an intense match that was determined by the very last event.

    "It was one of those meets where it comes down to the last few races," freshman Megan Carlin said. "Everyone was either on the blockhead or behind the blocks cheering for the swimmers in the water ... we ended up winning the last meet but it was really close. It came down to the last event."

    The Columbia win was "representative of how strong our team has gotten over the past couple of years," junior Laura Hotaling said. "This year we swam through it and trained hard ... we won by our own merit, not because of special suites or because we rested."

    The Red and Blue's success against Columbia affirms the swimmers' high hopes for the Ivy tournament this year. This 2004-05 squad has united to create a powerful aquatic threat.

    "They are a team with lots of heart, a close team," Schnur said. "They are a much tougher, more dedicated, heartfelt team" than those of past years.

    "Our success is indicative of how close we are," Hotaling said. "In past years it has been more competitive, but this year we are realizing that each person is an asset to the team."

    This idea of equality among the swimmers may stem from the success of this year's freshman class. Though young, the nine newcomers have already helped the Quakers conquer Cornell, La Salle, and most recently Columbia.

    "We are brinandes.Skriniar and Fernandes spent a year together at Italian club Sampdoria.The Portugal international has had an instant impact at Old Trafford since arriving from Sporting CP in January."I think one of my best team-mates was Bruno Fernandes," Skriging new people into positions of importance and they are responding beautifully," Schnur said.

    Carlin, a standout freshman, has already played an integral role in many of the team's quality wins. Though strongest in the 100-yard breaststroke, Carlin has also shown promise in the 200-yard breast.

    "Megan has stepped in as a freshman and she is already one of the best swimmers on the team, not to mention of the rest of the league," said Schnur, who was especially impressed by the freshman's performance in the 200 against Columbia. The 200 "is not her strength, but she had a great win over Columbia," Schnur said.

    The talent of this year's freshman class complements the skill of the team's veterans, who consistently lead and unify the team by example. Seniors Kathryn Stores, Maureen Schriver and Katie Coxe are just some of the upperclassmen who continue to lead the Quakers with outstanding performances.

    Juniors Hotaling and Kristen Kelly have also stepped up this year, contributing quality times to help power the squad. Even the sophomore class has assumed a greater role in the team's performances.

    "The sophomore class has really stepped up this year," Schnur said.

    In fact it seems that each class brings a different ingredient to the mix.

    But is it a recipe for success?

    The Quakers hope so. They continue to work intensely, aiming all of their efforts at the ultimate test of their abilities: the Ivy League Tournament, which takes place Feb. 24-26 at Princeton.

    "I just want us to throw everything we have into that last weekend in February," Schnur said.

    Though the team placed sixth laembrace their upcoming two games.Villa travel to reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday before hosting current leaders Liverpool the following weekend.Goalkeeper Heaton said: “They are widely regarded as the two best teams in the league andst year, the swimmers have high hopes for their 2005 campaign.

    "A goal of the team is definitely to do better at the Ivy's," Carlin said. "Last year we got sixth by a one-point loss to Columbia, so we are definitely capable of moving up in the ranking."

    Tomorrow, the Quakers continue the quest for the Ivy League title when they travel to Harvard to swim against the defending Ivy League runners-up in a crucial matchup.

    Harvard sits at 4-0 in the Ancient Eight and 6-0 overall, coming oe regrets leaving Liverpool.Shelvey has said he should never have left Liverpool.Shelvey left Liverpool for Swansea in 2013, before joining the Magpies in 2016.“I probably shouldn't have left Liverpool," the former Charlton Athletic youngster told ff wins over Houston and Kansas. So to keep any hopes alive of a regular season title, the Quakers must come out victorious.

    And to do so, Penn must rely on the blend of senior leadership and young talent that has the bar set so high for the Quakers this season.

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  • Milanese signs on with Soul

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    The last time Rob Milanese suited up for a football game in Philadelphia was Nov. 16, 2002, as he pulled in ninain Lionel Messi has been slammed by CONMEBOL for comments after Argentina's third-place Copa America playoff defeat of Chile.A furious Messi, who had been sent off, launched a second tirade at the body following his country's victory over Chile.CONMe catches for 139 yards in an Ivy League title-clinching victory over Harvard.

    The next time Penn's all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yards puts on pads in the City of Brotherly Love, he will be playing indooors.

    Milanese, who signed with the Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul in October, is currently with the squad for training camp in San Jose, Calif.

    The team kicks off its season Jan. 30 in Texas, when the Soul take on the Austin Wranglers.

    Milanese's first game back in Philadelphia will be on Feb. 13. The Soul will take on the Nashville Kats at 3 p.m. at the Wachovia Center.

    The Wycoff, N.J., native is no stranger to professional football. In his two years out of school, he has signed free-agent contracts with the National Football League's New England Patriots and New York Jets. On both occasions, Milanese failed to make the team's roster.

    Milanese will not be the only Ivy League alumnus in the AFL. Dartmouth's Brian Mann and Yale's Josh Phillip are also on an arena team's roster.

    Noll alEd Woodward's public support was "not needed". Despite their poor form, Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward said at United's quarterly investors' call last Tuesday that "it's important that we're patient while Ole and his team build for the fso makes return

    Former Quakers offensive lineman Ben Noll, who recently finished his rookie season with theorentino Perez.The Costa Rica international wants to leave Madrid, though the situation is tricky with Real having little time to find a replacement.AC Milan veteran Pepe Reina could arrive as a replacement, according to Okdiario's chief pundit Eduar NFL's Dallas Cowboys, made his gridiron return to Philadelphia on Dec. 19, when theCowboys took on the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

    While Noll was inactive for the game, he did note that it was nice to be back in Philadelphia. He was especially pleased to see his sister, Kate, who is a Wharton senior.

    The St. Louis native said that his first season in the NFL has been a flurry of activity.

    "I haven't really had time to look back and think about it," he said after the Eagles game.

    Though he was not selected in April's NFL draft, the two-time All-Ivy selection was signed by his hometown St. Louis Rams this past spring as a free agent. Noll spent all of training camp and preseason with the Rams before being let go in the team's final set of cuts.

    He was quickly picked up by the Cowboys, however, who liked the 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman's size. Noll spent the season backing up starting right guard Andre Gurode.

    While he was upset about not getting the chance to play for his local franchise, Noll said that "any time you get the opportunity to play under coach [Bill] Parcells and [offensive line coach George] Warhop, it's obviously a special opportunity."

    Noll's frantic season had a happy ending, however, as he replaced Gurode as the starter in the team's final game of the season against the New York Giants.

    The 2004 Wharton graduate claims that the transition to the NFL has been as easy as is possible for an Ivy League graduate.

    "Obviously the guys athletically are a little bit different, but I take a lot from the lessons I learned from [Penn offensive line coach Andy] Coen and [Penn head coach Al] Bagnoli and apply them to the current situation," Noll said.

    "Having that foundation as a Penn football player really helped me out a lot."

    Still, Noll said that there are some natural disadvantages that prevent more Ivy Leaguers from entering the NFL.

    "We don't have that kind ofnational media attention ... where we could be nationally known," he said.

    Noll also said that it is harder for Ancient Eight athletes to get signed because of the low level of comeptition they compete against. He said that it is extra important for Ivy athletes to play well in training camp, when they have a chance to take on the top competition in the country, if they intend on making an NFL roster.

    Super Bowl bound?

    Only two of the eight squads remaining in the NFL playoffs boast a former Ivy League athlete on their roster.

    The Minnesota Vikings, who travel to Philadelphia for a showdown this Sunday with the Eagles, boast offensive lineman Matt Birk, a Harvard graduate and 2005 Pro Bowl selection.

    Former Brown wide receiver Sean Morey is currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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  • Singles play carries Penn to two victories

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    David Lynn ended his singles match against St. Bonaventure with a speeding ace past Mario Arce.

    The Penn men's tennis team finished off its five-game homestand equally strong. The Quakers downed Richmond on Saturday and beat St. Bonaventure on Sunday.

    The Red and Blue have gotten off to a hot start this season. And with the two wins this weekend the Red and Blue moved their record to a flawless 5-0.

    Despite their strong marks, the Quakers are far from perfect. Penn's doubles teams struggled all weekend, losing five of six matches. The 0-3 showing against the Spiders (4-2) on Saturday caused coach Mark Riley to shuffle his lineup before the next day's match against re competition next season after his battle for Burnley's right back spot with Phil Bardsley. "It's always good to have competition, it keeps you working hard ander manager Rafa Benitez for last season's loan.Kenedy now has his sights on being a regular with the Blues this season.He told the club's website: "I learned a lot from my time there."I was very happy with the amount I played. It was a great experien keeps you on your toes," he told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph."Phil's a great playethe Bonnies (5-2).

    Riley replaced three of his six doubles players on Sunday. John Stetson was cycled into the lineup in place of Brandon O'Gara. It was the first time Stetson had played in a match for Penn in over a year.

    Riley's ability to interchange his starters demonstrates the depth of the Quakers roster.

    With their obvious struggles in doubles the Quakers were carried to their two wins on the strength of their singles play. Penn put together a 4-2 advantage over Richmond and needed every win in order to earn the victory. The Quakers singles players also dealt a 5-1 blow to St. Bonaventure.

    With the ineffectiveness of Penn's doubles teams, the Quakers were placed in an early hole both days. Riley was impressed with his team, believing that his players stepped up where a lot of others would have folded.

    Riley lauded the resiliency of his team adding that the Red and Blue put forth an excellent team effort and "came out ecord says United have the Greece international under consideration should they lose David de Gea.As De Gea continues to stall over new contract talks, United could cash in with just a year on his current deal.And as a contingency, United are lookingand played very strong."

    The epitome of this mental toughness was demonstrated Justin Lavner's match against Doug Banker of Richmond.

    With the entire match on the line, Lavner won decisively despite going to three sets -- 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 -- to carry the Quakers to victory.

    Given the recent success of the Red and Blue at the Levy Tennis Pavilion, Riley has reason to be optimistic about the future of his team. While he is always looking for improvement, especially from his struggling doubles combinations, he believes that the Penn squad as a whole will be tough on anyone's schedule.

    "As a group, it will take a lot to beat us," he said. "If we play every match hard, we will be tough toward the end of the season."

    The Quakers will next take the court when they travel to Maryland on Feb. 20 to take on the Terrapins.

    The Terps are 3-0 so far on the season, with victories over Gerogetown, Goucher College and George Washington.

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