PHILADELPHIA – Playing its first regular-season game on “Ace” Adams Field at Penn Park, the University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team got out to a good start but then was humbled last Saturday by Cornell. Already 0-2 in Ivy League play, the Quakers face a huge Ancient Eight contest this Saturday as they hit the midway point of league play by facing arguably its fiercest rival in recent years, Yale. The Bulldogs host Saturday’s 1 p.m. contest.
GAME 7 – #18 PENN (3-3, 0-2 Ivy League) at #11 YALE (4-2, 1-1)
Saturday, March 29, 2014 * 1 p.m.
Reese Stadium (New Haven, Conn.)
TV: Ivy League Digital Network (there is a fee for this service)
The Penn-Yale Series
The Quakers and the Bulldogs have met 64 times, with Yale holding a 38-26 lead in the series. The last meeting took place at last year’s Ivy League Tournament in Ithaca, N.Y., with the Bulldogs winning 9-6. During the regular season, Yale took a 7-6 decision in overtime. In fact, four of the last seven games have gone overtime including a 3OT thriller in 2011. Both teams have won two of the OT contests. Penn has lost five of the last six matchups with Yale, after winning three in a row from 2006-08.
Like Penn, the Bulldogs have played Cornell and Princeton in Ivy play so far; they lost to the Big Red, 11-9, and beat the Tigers last Saturday, 16-15. Brandon Mangan, a second-team All-Ivy pick from last year’s NCAA quarterfinalist, and Conrad Oberbeck have 21 points apiece to lead Yale’s attack (Mangan 11g/10a, Oberbeck 15g/6a). Colin Flaherty has scored eight goals, while Shan Thornton has 10 points (3g, 7a). Twelve different players have scored at least twice this season for the Bulldogs. In goal, Eric Natale has started every game; he boasts a 9.00 goals-against average and a .475 save percentage.
After starting the season with four non-conference games, Penn is in the third week of a stretch that sees the Quakers playing Ivy League games for six straight Saturdays. They will then finish the season with non-conference games against Towson and St. John’s.
Around the League
Penn and Yale will face off around the same time that Cornell (2-0 Ivy) and Dartmouth (0-1) face off in Hanover, N.H. Later on Saturday, at 3 p.m., Princeton (1-1) and Brown (0-1) meet each other in Providence, R.I. Harvard (2-0) has the bye from Ivy play this weekend, and plays at No. 3 Duke Saturday at noon.
*Penn is ranked 18th in this week’s USILA national coaches poll; the Quakers started the season ranked 18th, and were 12th two weeks ago (their highest ranking this season). In addition to Yale (11), the other Ivy League teams currently ranked are Cornell (2) and Princeton (15), while Harvard is one of six teams also receiving votes.
*Penn also is ranked 13th in the Lacrosse Magazine weekly poll, and 16th in the Warrior Inside Lacrosse media poll. Yale is ranked 11th in both polls.
*Looking at Penn’s 12-game schedule, four other teams besides No. 11 Yale are ranked this week in the USILA poll: Cornell (2), Duke (3), Denver (6), and Princeton (15). Two other future opponents -- Harvard and Towson -- are receiving votes this week.
*This is nothing new for Penn under Head Coach Mike Murphy; last year, the Quakers’ Strength of Schedule was ranked second at the end of the season (behind only Princeton), while in 2011 it ranked first.
National Stats (team)
*Penn is 13th in shot percentage (.317) and 22nd in points per game (17.17).
*The Quakers have six players with at least 10 points, 10 players with at least two goals, and six others who have scored once.
*After five players scored Penn’s six goals in the season opener at Duke, the Quakers have had at least seven different goal scorers in each of the last five games.
*Junior Isaac Bock leads Penn in goals (10), while sophomore Nick Doktor tops the team in assists (8); both players have 15 points this season. After being shut out in Penn’s season opener, Doktor has his 15 points in the last five games (3.0 ppg).
*Doktor set career highs last Saturday against Cornell in assists (4) and points (5); he is one of two players to have a five-point game this season, along with Bock (4g/1a at Princeton).
*After scoring twice last Saturday against Cornell -- tying a season high for goals -- Losco has a point in 15 straight games dating back to last season; the other Penn players who have at least a point in every game this season are Bock, McCallion, and Brown.
*Brown also scored twice last Saturday, his second multi-goal game this season and third multi-point outing.
*Junior Chris Hupfeldt has scored at least one goal in each of the last three games.
Penn is home for Ivy League games each of the next two Saturdays, starting next week when the Quakers host Brown on Franklin Field at 1 p.m. It will be Alumni Day for the lax programs, with the men’s alumni game taking place at 10:30 a.m. on Adams Field (Penn Park).