PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/17/2013 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team clinched a tie for the Ivy League championship with an exciting 10 – 9 overtime win against the arch-rival Princeton Tigers at Franklin Field. Penn has now won or tied for the conference championship for the seventh straight year, the most for any women’s program at the school and the sport. A win at Brown will give Penn sole possession of the crown.
“When you get into this game, you just want to beat Princeton,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower-Corbett. “The titles don’t resonate with me. I just wanted our team to get better as a team. It is a great accomplishment. That is hard to do in a league this good. I’m proud that we have been able to hand it down each year and fight for it each year as this league has gotten better and better. It’s unbelievable and I am proud of them.”
The Red and Blue got the win in overtime on a free-position goal by junior midfielder Shannon Mangini at the 2:16 mark of the second overtime period. Mangini scored unassisted with 5:10 to play in regulation that tied the game at 9 sending the game into overtime. It was her third goal of the game and number 17 of the season. Sophomore goal keeper Lucy Ferguson made two key saves, one near the end of regulation and late in the second overtime that kept Penn alive.
“There is a sense of urgency, but you also need a sense of patience,” Mangini said about scoring the goals. “There is a strategy to the overtime. We wanted to possess it (the ball) and get the shot we really wanted.”
Ferguson made 7 saves against 19 Princeton shots.
“When it comes down to big moments in the game I am just watching for the ball and not build it up in my head,” said Ferguson. “I am just watching the ball and saying just make the next save, a save like it is in practice.”
Penn played one of their best all-around games of the season. The Quakers would need it as Princeton played at a controlled pace. The Tigers held the ball for the first five minutes of the game, They would score on a free-position goal at the 25:09 mark by attack Alexandra Bruno. The Tigers went ahead by a 2 – 0 score as attack Erin McMunn tallied her first of her 3 goals in the game. A two goal margin was the biggest lead for either team. Princeton took a two-goal lead at 9 – 7 as midfielder Erin Slifer converted a free-position opportunity at the 12:36 mark. It would be the last goal of the game for the visitors. Penn got to within one on a free-position goal by senior attack Caroline Bunting at 6:16, the final of her 4 goals, before Mangini took over. It was a matter of Penn keeping their focus.
“This was our cleanest game of the year and needed to be,” Brower-Corbett said. “We played like a team in every way and played the complete game we were looking for.”
The Red and Blue earned the top-seed in the Ivy League Tournament, and will host the tournament for the fourth year. Penn has been the host each year of the Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. The Red and Blue won the inaugural tournament but have lost the last two. Coach Brower-Corbett knows winning the title is more important than hosting it as the Ivy League automatic bid is Penn’s path to the NCAA Tournament.
“We’ve been able to do that for four years (host the tournament), now we have to win it,” Brower-Corbett said. “I don’t know what is going to happen with the NCAA Tournament. We started slow and had two bad losses. Our only sure way in is the Ivy League win. You’ve got to win it and we haven’t done that these past two years. I’m glad to be home, but I want to win it.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian