PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's lacrosse team suffered another one-goal defeat last weekend at Dartmouth, one which pushed the Quakers out of postseason contention. As a result, the Red and Blue will finish up its 2012 campaign Friday night, when they face No. 6 Virginia in the first half of the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic presented by Inside Lacrosse. The Quakers and Cavaliers will face off at 5:30 p.m. Denver time (7:30 Eastern time), to be followed by Duke and Denver. Both games will take place at Sports Authority Field, the home of the NFL's Denver Broncos.
GAME 13 - WHITMAN'S SAMPLER MILE HIGH CLASSIC PRESENTED BY INSIDE LACROSSE
PENN (3-9) vs. #6 VIRGINIA (10-3)
Friday, April 27, 2012 * 5:30 p.m. (7:30 East Coast)
Sports Authority Field (Denver, Colo.)
TV: ESPN3.com (Quint Kessenich, Jamie Munro)
Click here for live stats!
Penn notes (PDF) / Virginia notes (PDF)
The Series with Virginia
The Cavaliers lead the series, 3-2, with the wins coming in the most recent matchups (1997, 1998, 2011); last year, Virginia hosted and downed Penn 11-2 in the regular-season finale for both squads. (Both teams would go on to the NCAA Championship, the Quakers losing in the first round at Notre Dame and the Cavaliers winning the title.) Penn's wins in the series came in 1929 and 1931.
I Know You!
Penn Head Coach Mike Murphy was an assistant coach on Dom Starsia's staff at Brown in 1992 and then at Virginia from 1993-97; the Cavaliers played for the national title twice during that time, in 1994 and 1996.
I Know You, Too!
Penn's volunteer assistant this year is Doug Knight, whom Virginia fans might remember. He played for the Cavaliers from 1993-97, captaining the 1997 squad. Knight was the National Player of the Year in 1996 and a three-time All-America. Later, he was an assistant coach under Starsia with Virginia's 1999 NCAA championship team.
The Cavaliers are the defending NCAA champion and enter this weekend coming off a semifinal loss in the ACC Tournament last weekend. UVA is led by Steele Stanwick, the reigning Tewaaraton Award recipient; he has 20 goals and 44 assists for 64 points this season. Chris Bocklet has 30 goals. In goal, Rob Fortunato has an 8.54 goals-against average and a .585 save percentage.
According to laxpower.com, Penn enters the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic having played the toughest schedule in the country. Among its 12 games to date, the Quakers have played teams that are ranked fourth (Duke), fifth (UNC), eighth (Cornell), ninth (Lehigh), 12th (Princeton), 13th (Villanova), 18th (Bucknell) and 19th (Yale) in this week's USILA national coaches poll. Virginia, of course, entered the week ranked sixth in the poll and will be the ninth ranked opponent Penn will face this season.
Senior John Conneely and junior Tim Schwalje are the only Penn players to have a point in every game this season.
It's a family affair at Penn for face-off specialist Joe McCallion, one of two freshmen who played on last year's No. 1-ranked high school team at the Haverford School. His older sister, Kelly, is a junior midfielder on the Quakers' No. 10-ranked women's lacrosse team. (The other Haverford freshman is attackman Chris Hupfeldt, who is out for the year due to a preseason injury.)
If Penn goes to overtime, keep an eye on sophomore middie Drew Belinsky. Last year he provided the winning goal twice in extra time in an Ivy League game, at home against Yale and then on the road at Harvard.
The Notes of Note
*Penn's loss at Dartmouth last weekend knocked the Quakers out of Ivy League Tournament contention.
*Conneely has 13 points (6g, 7a) in Penn's last three games, including a six-point effort in the Quakers' win over Harvard on April 14 (3g, 3a); it was the high-point game by a Penn player this season, and the most by a Quaker since Corey Winkoff had six against Villanova on March 12, 2011.
*Conneely leads Penn in goals (19), assists (13) and points (32).
*Schwalje -- who has nine points (5g, 4a) in the last three games -- had four goals at Yale on March 31, his first four-goal game and the first by a Penn player since Al Kohart dropped four at Cornell on March 26, 2011.
*Schwalje is the only other Penn player besides Conneely with a double-figure assist total (11) and has 28 points overall.
*Belinsky has scored in two straight games, four of the last five, and five of the last seven; after recording just two points in Penn's first five games, he has eight points in the last seven contests.
*Junior Ryan Parietti was shut out last weekend at Dartmouth, but he has recorded at least two points in seven of Penn's last 10 games; he had his first collegiate hat trick last week at Saint Joseph's.
*Sophomore face-off specialist Danny Feeney had his first goal of 2012 last week at Saint Joseph's.
*Freshman Isaac Bock scored his first collegiate goal two weekends ago against Harvard.
*Junior defenseman Anthony Santomo had an assist on April 10 at Bucknell, his first collegiate point.
*Sophomore Zack Losco had just three points in Penn's first nine games, but had four against Harvard on April 14 and then another one last Saturday at Dartmouth.
*Losco and Santomo lead Penn with 18 caused turnovers this season, while sophomore Maxx Meyer and senior Will Koshansky -- two of last year's national leaders in the category -- have 13 apiece.
*Meyer leads Penn with 37 ground balls (despite missing two games earlier this season), while Losco has 30 and freshman Joe McCallion has 28.
*McCallion and sophomore Danny Feeney have basically split time on faceoffs this season; McCallion has a .500 win percentage on 140 faceoffs, while Feeney is at .418 for his 110 matchups.
*McCallion had two assists against Brown on April 7, his first two points as a collegian.