PHILADELPHIA, PA. 5/6/2012 – The Dartmouth Big Green women’s lacrosse team dominated the second half limiting the University of Pennsylvania to just one late score winning the Ivy League Women’s Lacrosse Tournament 6 – 4 at Penn Park’s Dunning-Cohen Champions Field. With the win Dartmouth secures the Ivy League bid to the NCAA Championship competition. A 6 – 0 run propelled Dartmouth to the championship. Penn Senior Goal Keeper Emily Leitner recorded a championship record 9 saves, but there was not enough offense for the Red and blue.
Penn lead early in this game as Senior attack Erin Brennan, Junior midfielder Maddie Poplawski, and Freshman attack Courtney Tomchik scored as the Quakers went ahead 3 – 0 with 14:30 remaining in the half. The game took a similar tone to the Penn win over Harvard on Friday. Dartmouth had possession time, but could not get anything past Leitner. However, the offense went dry. The goal by Tomchik would be the last Penn score for the next 33:48.
“They sent the double team early, and at times we panicked,” said Brennan. “The momentum changed in their favor and we lost it. I, myself, forced shots when we should have driven it or pulled it out. We forced those shots, and they were the game breakers against a team that can score. They were working it for a really long time.”
The Big Green did get a score with 1:40 remaining in the half as Leitner tried to send a pass up field that was intercepted by Dartmouth midfielder Lindsey Allard who found fellow midfielder Kirsten Goldberg who put the ball into the net cutting the deficit to 3 – 1.
Early in the second half Dartmouth tied the game at 3 on goals by Allard and Goldberg. The Big Green went ahead on a free position goal by Sarah Plumb to move in front 4 – 3 with 18:58 on the clock. Attack Hana Bowers scored back to back as Dartmouth led 6 – 3. Poplawski ended the scoring drought for Penn with a free position goal with 42 seconds on the clock. In that half Dartmouth goal keeper Kristen Giovanniello kept the door shut making 8 saves in winning the tournament Most Outstanding Player Award.
Penn had the early momentum, but when Dartmouth took it away, the Red and Blue could not get it back. That led to impatience and frustration on the part of the Penn offense.
“We were causing turnovers in the defensive end, we were getting the ball from them, but we came down and went for the first thing giving them the ball back,” said Brower-Corbett. “They (Dartmouth) weren’t having to pay for their turnovers, we weren’t generating from our caused turnovers, we gave the ball back and played defense. If you play defense for that long, they’re going to score, and there is no way around it.”
Dartmouth was able to keep possession of the ball despite having 11 turnovers compared to 10 for Penn. The Quakers defense aggressively tried to get it back. However, it may have been too aggressive as Dartmouth had a 36 – 15 edge in Fouls, and a 9 – 2 edge in Free-position shots.
“We are not a team that fouls a lot, but 36 – 15 is interesting,” said Brower-Corbett. “For a team that does not foul a lot it seemed that everything we did was a foul today. I am not blaming the officials. We need to do the job in our end, but it wasn’t helpful.”
The season ends for the Red and Blue, and now must wait for a decision by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to find if the season will continue. Brower-Corbett is not sure if they will get the call.
“I don’t know, but I think there are two at-large bids that are up in the air,” Brower-Corbett said. “We have a strength of schedule that is extremely strong, but we didn’t win any of those games. It depends on how they see the Ivy League. I don’t know if they will take two from the league. We had a strong schedule, but we didn’t win. In the end they take teams that win.”
The Quakers end the season 9 – 7, and won their 6th consecutive Ivy League regular season crown. This is a young team that has great potential. However, the team will miss the play of the two Seniors Erin Brennan and Emily Leitner. Those two will move on to real life competition. The instinct here says that Emily and Erin will be winners there as well.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Dartmouth is the third winner of the three year old Ivy League Tournament.
Emily Leitner had 19 saves during the tournament.
Erin Brennan, Maddie Poplawski, Courtney Tomchik and Meredith Cain were selected to the All-Tournament team for Penn.
Dartmouth placed Kristen Giovanniello, Georgia Bird, Hana Bowers, Kirsten Goldberg, Kelsey Johnson, and Sarah Plumb on the All-Tournament team. Melanie Baskind of Harvard and Cornell’s Caroline Salisbury were also selected.