PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team was unable to snap a long losing streak to Princeton on the Tigers’ home field last Saturday. This Saturday, the Quakers look to get back on the winning side of the ledger, but it will be a tall task as No. 4 Cornell comes calling. Saturday’s historic Ivy League game will take place in Penn Park, the first time the Quakers have hosted a game on the three-year-old park space just East of Franklin Field.
GAME 6 – #14 PENN (3-2, 0-1 Ivy League) at #4 CORNELL (7-0, 1-0)
Saturday, March 22, 2014 * 1 p.m.
“Ace” Adams Field, Penn Park (Philadelphia)
TV: Ivy League Digital Network (there is a fee for this service)
The Penn-Cornell Series
The Quakers and the Big Red have met 87 times, with Cornell holding a sizable 61-23 lead (the teams have also tied three times). Cornell has won seven in row over Penn, including a 10-5 decision last year in Ithaca, N.Y. Penn’s last wins came here at Philadelphia, in 2004 (10-8) and again in 2006 (8-6).
The Big Red lost last year’s Tewaaraton Trophy recipient, Rob Pannell, and five other All-Ivy players. They have hardly slowed down, however; at 6-0, they are ranked fourth in this week’s USILA coaches poll. Last week, Cornell opened Ivy play with an 11-9 win over Yale. Dan Lintner leads the Red in goals (20), while Matt Donovan tops the team in assists (9) and points (26). Connor Buczek has 19 points (12g, 7a), while John Hogan has 15 (9g, 6a) and John Edmonds has 14 (8g, 6a). Buczek was first-team All-Ivy last year, while Donovan was the 2012 Ivy League Rookie of the Year. In goal, Christian Knight went the distance against Yale, making 14 saves. He has a .621 save percentage and a 9.15 goals-against average in three appearances this season.
After starting the season with four non-conference games, Penn is in the second 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.
*Penn is ranked 14th in this week’s USILA national coaches poll; the Quakers started the season ranked 18th, and were 12th last week (their highest ranking this season). In addition to Cornell (4), the other Ivy League teams currently ranked are Princeton (13) and Yale (16), while Harvard is among six teams also receiving votes.
*Penn also is ranked 12th in the Lacrosse Magazine weekly poll, and 13th in the Warrior Inside Lacrosse media poll. Cornell is ranked third in both polls.
*Looking at Penn’s 12-game schedule, four other teams besides No. 4 Cornell are ranked this week in the USILA poll: Duke (3), Denver (5), Princeton (13) and Yale (16). 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 15th in shot percentage (.318) and 19th in points per game (17.60).
*The Quakers have five players with at least 10 points, 10 players with at least two goals, and six others who have scored once.
*Junior Isaac Bock leads Penn in goals (10) and points (14), and is tied for third in assists (4); he tied career highs last weekend at Princeton with four goals and five points.
*Four players are tied for second in points, with 10: sophomore Nick Doktor (6g, 4a), junior Joe McCallion (6g, 4a), and seniors Zack Losco (5g, 5a) and Drew Belinsky (5g, 5); Doktor has his 10 points in the last four games, after being shut out in the season opener.
*Losco has a point in 14 straight games dating back to last season.
Along with Losco, the other Penn players who have at least a point in every game this season are Bock, McCallion, and freshman Kevin Brown.
*In Penn’s loss at then-No. 16 Princeton last Saturday, the Quakers turned a three-goal deficit to one on three separate occasions, but could never tie it in taking the 15-12 loss.
Penn is back on the road next Saturday, March 29, facing No. 16 Yale at 1 p.m. in New Haven, Conn.