PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team makes history this Sunday, when the Quakers host neighborhood rival Drexel in the first NCAA Championship game played by Penn at Franklin Field since 1988. The Red and Blue is looking for its first NCAA win since that same year, and just the third in program history.
GAME 15 – #9 PENN (11-3) vs. #12 DREXEL (12-4)
NCAA Championship first round
Sunday, May 11, 2014 * 3 p.m.
Franklin Field (Philadelphia
TV: ESPNU (Mike Corey, Matt Ward)
Ticket Prices For Sunday
*Adults are $10
*College Students are $6 (tickets must be purchased in person at Penn Athletics Ticket Office with student ID)
*Youth (ages 3-17) are $6
*Children 2 and under will be admitted free with when accompanied by a ticketed adult
The Penn-Drexel Series
*Despite their relative proximity -- only two blocks -- the Quakers and the Dragons have met just 29 times in men’s lacrosse, with Penn holding a 21-8 lead.
*Sunday’s game marks the first NCAA Championship meeting between these programs; in fact, Penn has never played another Philadelphia-area team in an NCAA Championship game.
*The most recent matchup between these programs took place during the 2008 season (a 9-8 Drexel win at Franklin Field) and again in 2009 (a 9-8 Penn win at Drexel’s Vidas Field); prior to those games, the teams had not met since 1994.
*Mike Murphy is in his fifth season as Penn’s head coach. The Quakers’ head coach before that? Drexel head coach Brian Voelker, who left Penn for the Dragons following the 2009 season (opening the door for Murphy’s hiring).
Penn in the NCAA Championship
*This is Penn’s 12th NCAA Championship appearance, and the program’s first since 2011 (the second under fifth-year head coach Mike Murphy); overall, the Quakers are 2-11 in NCAA play.
*Penn is hosting an NCAA game for the first time since 1988, and just the fourth time overall (also 1977, 1984, 1987); the Quakers are 2-2 in those games, winning in 1987 and 1988.
*Penn is tied for ninth in this week’s USILA national coaches poll, its highest ranking of the season; the Quakers started the season ranked 18th. The other Ivy League teams currently ranked are Harvard (11), Cornell (13) and Yale (16), while Princeton is among five teams also receiving votes.
*Penn also is ranked 10th in the Warrior Inside Lacrosse media poll.
*Looking at Penn’s schedule, seven of the Quakers’ 14 opponents from this season are ranked in this week’s USILA poll: Denver (2), Duke (3), Harvard twice (11), Cornell twice (13), and Yale (16). Penn has gone 5-2 against those teams, with the wins coming over the Pioneers, Bulldogs, Big Red and Crimson (twice). The Quakers also lost to the only team they played among the five receiving votes this weekend, Princeton.
*According to Laxpower.com, Penn enters the NCAA Championship the week third in Strength of Schedule, or SOS -- behind ACC schools Syracuse and Notre Dame -- and second in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI (behind the Orange).
*This is nothing new for Penn under Coach 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.
Quaker Notemeal from the Ivy League Tournament
*Penn won its first Ivy League Tournament last Sunday at Harvard; the Quakers had appeared in two of the previous four Tournaments (2011, 2013) without a victory.
*Sunday’s win over Harvard was the Quakers’ eighth in a row, tied for the program’s second-longest winning streak with the 1988 Ivy champion and NCAA semifinalist; the longest win streak in program history is held by the 1984 squad, which lost its opener; won 12 in a row, including the only unbeaten Ivy League run in program history; then lost in an NCAA quarterfinal to Army.
*Penn’s semifinal win over Cornell was its first over the Big Red since 2006, and just the third win over Cornell since 1998.
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn’s win over Harvard on Sunday was its 11th this season, the first time the Quakers have reached that win total since 1988 (11-4); the other years in program history with 10 or more wins are 1977 (10), 1983 (10), 1984 (12), 1985 (10), 1987 (10), and 2006 (10).
*Penn’s 9-3 regular-season record was the program’s best since 2006, when the Quakers went 10-3 before a first-round NCAA loss at Johns Hopkins.
*After losses at Princeton and at home to Cornell, Penn ended Ivy League play with four straight wins. The last time the Quakers won four conference games in a row? Try 1988, when they lost to Yale to open Ivy play, then reeled off five straight wins to tie for the title with the Bulldogs.
*While Penn has just two 20-goal scorers (Zack Losco, 25; Nick Doktor, 20) and only two players with at least 30 points (Losco and Doktor, 38), the Quakers have eight players with at least 14 points; 14 players with at least three goals; and six others who have scored at least once.
*Penn has had at least six different goal scorers in all but three games this season, including double-digit goal scorers against Saint Joseph’s (12), Towson (11) and St. John’s (11); at Duke and at Yale, the Quakers scored just six goals but had five different players score them, while last Sunday at Harvard five different players scored Penn’s seven goals.
*After allowing 53 goals in a four-game span from March 1-22 (13.3 gpg), Penn has allowed just 57 goals during its eight-game win streak (7.1 gpg).