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PHILADELPHIA - On Saturday, two of Penn's most outstanding women's lacrosse players will take to Franklin Field for what could be their last home game as Quakers. Co-captains Erin Brennan and Emily Leitner have combined to be part of 46 career wins for the Red and Blue, and have won three Ivy League titles as part of Penn's five-consecutive Ancient Eight championships.
The Quakers need a win on Saturday against Brown to stay in the hunt for a sixth-straight crown as the Red and Blue sit at 4-1 inside the Ivy League, one game behind first-place Dartmouth which is 5-0.
All-time, Penn is 24-9 against Brown, with wins in the last eight meetings. Last year, the Quakers clinched an Ivy title in Providence with a 12-5 win. The last time the two teams met at Franklin Field was 2010, a 19-5 win for the Quakers. The Quakers are unbeaten at home against Brown in their last five meetings in Philly, the last loss coming in 2000.
Senior Day ceremonies are slated to begin following the conclusion of the game, and will honor two Penn players who surely have left their mark on the program.
One of the most prolific scorers in program history, Erin Brennan enters the weekend with 196 career point, third-most by a Quaker. When she reaches the 200-point plateau, Brennan will become the third player to do so, joining Ali DeLuca (203 points from 2007-10) and point-leader Sherry Marcantonio (237 points from 1980-83). Her 81 assists rank second all-time by a Quaker to Marcantonio's 108 and Brennan's 115 goals are fourth all-time, one away from third place. A two-time All-American, Brennan was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2009 and has been named All-Ivy each of the last three seasons, including back-to-back first-team nods.
If Brennan is the catalyst on offense for the Quakers, Emily Leitner is the backbone of the defense. A two-year starter in the cage for the Red and Blue, Leitner was All-Region and All-Ivy last season as she led the Ivy League in goals-against average at 8.38 - which was also seventh in the country. This season, Leitner has led a young defense which has taken on the top teams in the country this year. Three times this season, Leitner has set a career high in saves - her busiest day coming March 30 against No. 2 Maryland in a 16-save effort. Entering the weekend, Leitner is 28th in the nation in goals-against average, 31st in the country in save percentage, 33rd in saves-per-game and 27th in ground balls per-game.
The Bears are 6-6 overall this season, but just 1-4 inside the Ivy League. Brown has lost its last four Ivy games, including a 9-6 loss at Yale on Wednesday. The Bears led, 4-2, at halftime in New Haven but a 7-2 run by Yale in the final 30 minutes was the difference. Kaela McGilloway leads the Bears with 21 goals and 43 points, while Alexandra Crerend (19) and Bre Hudgins (18) are also key cogs on offense. Erin Roos does it all on defense for the Bears, leading the team with 17 caused turnovers to go with 18 ground balls and 18 draw controls.
Once again, the Penn-Brown game wiil be a family affair as two sisters will square off. Penn's Caroline Bunting is again near the top of the team in points with 17 goals and five assists in her junior season, but will match up against her younger sister Abby for the first time this weekend. Abby is a freshman for the Bears and has started all 12 games for the Bears and has six goals while ranking second on the team with 14 ground balls and 16 draw controls.