For the Women’s Lacrosse team of the University of Pennsylvania the number one team goal all season has been to win the Ivy League. Penn opens the defense of their Ivy League Tournament championship on Friday, May 6 at Franklin Field. The Quakers will draw Princeton as their semifinal opponent, while Dartmouth meets Harvard in the other semifinal game. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.
This season has not been about continuing a league winning streak or individual accomplishments, only to achieve what they are in position to do presently. The Red and Blue had a 34 game Ivy League winning streak ended by Princeton at Franklin Field, Penn’s home field, 11 – 7 on April 20. Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett remembers that, and hopes the team does as well to serve as motivation for the upcoming match.
“I’m excited to play Princeton again,” said Brower Corbett. “I’m hoping this game will spark my team. And they’re (Penn) excited to play Princeton on our home field. They came in and beat us, and celebrated on the ‘Split P.’ I hope that frustrates the team, and we come out, make a statement, and win big on Friday.”
Penn won a share of the conference title. Penn, Princeton, Harvard, and Dartmouth are the top four teams in the league. Penn got the top seed based on tie-breakers against Dartmouth and Harvard. It is only right that these four teams compete for the title.
Seniors Giulia Giordano, Bridget Waclawik, Lily Posner, Carolyn Pollard, and Keeley Langdon thought back to their loss to Princeton, and look for redemption.
Penn and Princeton met in the semifinal round last year in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. Penn won 13 – 9, then went on to defeat Dartmouth to win the title. Junior Attack Erin Brennan scored 4 goals in that game, and had 2 assists. The Quakers will need another solid performance in goal from Junior Emily Leitner.
The Red and Blue prepared for the tournament by playing 4th ranked Duke in their final season game on April 29. It was not an easy task to take on a national power before the conference gathering. Penn accepted the challenge and beat Duke 13 – 10, playing as good a game as they have all season. The game gave the team a huge boost in terms of team confidence. Brower Corbett saw the game against Duke as one that would have benefits other than getting ready for Princeton.
“If we don’t win the Ivy League Tournament, are we going to make the NCAA’s?” Brower Corbett pondered. “This game (vs. Duke) can only help you, it can’t hurt you.”
“We want to win a National Championship. That’s been our goal. You have to go through these teams, the ACC, Northwestern. If you want to be that good, you have to play them. My team rises to it.”
Penn has played and beaten Duke and North Carolina. The Quakers have lost to Maryland and Northwestern. None of that matters if Penn can win their next two games on their home field. They will get the chance to compete for the national title.
Now, they can get what they have wanted. And write a new chapter in the history of this program.
Written By: Glenn Papazian