The Quakers Get At Least a Share of the Title, and Will Host the Ivy League Tournament
PHILADELPHIA, PA 4/19/23 –
The University of Pennsylvania earned at least a tie for the Ivy League Championship in women’s lacrosse by winning 15 – 9 over Princeton at Franklin Field. It is their first since 2018. After the game the Penn team got to celebrate being presented with the championship trophy. And the Quakers know they are going to host the league tournament. A moment of pride for the Red and Blue.
“We talked to them about what it means to play for Penn, and what Penn Pride means,” said Quakers Coach Karin Corbett. “The six seniors and the team embodied it. I am so proud of them. They fought so hard. They have gotten better every game. I am proud of them, and they deserved this.”
Last season was not a good one for the Quakers. The team posted a losing record, and did not make the Ivy Championships. The Penn players dedicated themselves to turning the situation around. They did, and hosting the trophy validated that.
“Last year did not go our way, but we learned our lesson from that,” said midfielder Maria Themelis. “We used that to fuel our fire this season. We came into this new season on a revenge tour. And that’s what we showed today.”
Penn Ended a Princeton Streak Behind a Huge Third Quarter
The victory by the #15 Quakers over the #24 Tigers was their first since the 2017 season. In the second and third quarters the Red and Blue outscored the Orange and Black by a 9 – 3 margin, the same goal differential as the final score.
That third quarter became the difference as Penn won it 7 – 2. A 7 – 5 halftime lead ballooned to 14 – 7 going into the fourth quarter.
“We talked about let’s win the game in the third quarter, and they did that,” Corbett said. “They came out and shot better, and really buried it in the second and third quarter.”
Little things such as draw controls, shots, and getting fouled all were in the Quakers favor. For the game the advantage in draw controls was 17 – 11. Princeton won the fourth quarter in shots 14 – 4, but Penn had the overall advantage 31 – 27. The Tigers were whistled 30 times compared to 20 for the Quakers.
“They came to win the championship today,” said Corbett.
The Red and Blue scored the first six goals of the third quarter. Themelis started it at the 10:48 mark. She also posted the 7th goal of the critical 15 minutes.
“We knew we had the lead in the third quarter, but we didn’t act like that,” Themelis said. “We acted like it was a tie game. We came out with a lot of urgency going into that third quarter.”
What the Numbers Say
Themelis scored a game-high 4 goals and had the most shots at eight. She has 25 goals this season. The junior attributes her performance to preparation and team work.
“It was all the team around me,” Themelis said. “We scouted them really well. Our scout team was outstanding. We had to spread it out and move the ball really well. The reason we had such a lane was that all seven of us played as a unit.”
Midfielder Anna Brandt and attack Niki Miles each won a game-best 6 draw controls. Miles netted 3 goals giving her a team-leading 39 for the season.
Senior attack Kennon Moon and sophomore Erika Chung each assisted three times. Miles handed out an assist.
Midfielder Kari Buonanno led the Tigers with 4 assists and draw controls.
The 9 goals scored by the Orange and Black represents their lowest offensive output this season.
Princeton falls to 3 – 2 in the Ancient Eight, and is 6 – 7 overall.
Penn remains unbeaten in the league, and now have a two-game cushion over the rest of the league with two more games to play. They own wins over Princeton, Yale, and Harvard. The tie-breakers say that the tournament will be at Penn Park on May 5 and 7.
Next weekend the Red and Blue travels to Brown, then close the season hosting Dartmouth. The task at hand is to win the Ivy League outright.
“Outright, two more to go,” Corbett observed looking forward. “Brown is not an easy place to play. We can celebrate this tonight, then focus on them.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian