PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s head coach of men’s lacrosse, Mike Murphy, has announced the Quakers’ 2014 schedule. The Quakers will face another daunting slate that features eight teams ranked in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll. Penn -- ranked 11th in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll -- will open with the defending NCAA champion, face two of the other three semifinalists from last year’s tournament, and meet five 2013 NCAA teams in total.
“We are very excited about our 2014 schedule,” said Murphy, whose program boasted the No. 1 strength of schedule following the 2012 season and the No. 2 SOS following last season. “We have added a playoff team in Towson, along with St. John's who has one of the best attack units in the country. So we will again have a very challenging road ahead of us this spring. We want to find out how good we can become, and the best way to do that is to play the best teams out there.”
Penn’s schedule could not start any more difficult, according to the pollsters -- the Red and Blue travel to Durham, N.C. to face the defending NCAA champion and preseason No. 1 Duke under the lights of the Blue Devils’ Koskinen Stadium on Friday, Feb. 21. The Quakers return home to play city rival Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Franklin Field, before hosting preseason No. 5 Denver (another 2013 NCAA semifinalist) on Saturday, March 1. One week later, Penn travels to Villanova to face a Wildcats squad that is ranked 18th in the preseason.
Penn’s Ivy League schedule runs for six consecutive Saturdays, starting on March 15 when the Quakers travel to Princeton to face a Tigers team ranked 13th in the preseason poll. Preseason No. 17 Cornell, yet another NCAA semifinalist from last year, comes to Philadelphia a week later in a game that will be played on “Ace” Adams Field in Penn Park. The following Saturday, Penn is at preseason No. 10 Yale.
Saturday, April 5 will be Alumni Day for the Penn lacrosse programs, and Penn will host Brown that day at 1 p.m. on Franklin Field. One week later, Harvard comes to Franklin Field to tangle with the Quakers. Penn closes out Ivy League play on Saturday, April 19 at Dartmouth.
Penn ends the season with a pair of non-league games against teams ranked in the IL preseason poll. The first comes on Tuesday, April 22 at No. 20 Towson, while the second one is against preseason No. 16 St. John’s, a game that will be played at Radnor High School as part of the annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival.
Once again this year, the top four teams in the Ivy League standings at the end of the regular season with play in the Ivy League Tournament, which will run May 2 and 4 at the home of the regular-season champion. First-round NCAA Championship play begins May 10 and 11, with quarterfinal games taking place May 17 at Hofstra and May 18 at Delaware. The annual NCAA Championship Weekend will run Memorial Day weekend, May 24 and 26, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.