PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team is off to its best start since 2011 as the Quakers improved to 6-0 this season following a 15-8 win over Georgetown at Franklin Field.
Penn, ranked No. 13 this week, has now won eight consecutive regular season games dating back to the end of last year – a streak which is the best for a Quaker squad since Penn won nine in a row over parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
The Quakers were dominant in the first 10 minutes of the game, opening up a 5-0 lead. The Hoyas would never get closer than a three-goal deficit the rest of the way as Penn had an answer for every Georgetown rally.
Tory Bensen was back at it for the Quakers, netting a game-high five goals. She now has 24 goals this season, averaging four goals a game. Her five goals against the Hoyas marked the third time in six games this season that she has eclipsed the five-goal mark. Dating back to April 19 of last season, Bensen has scored four or more goals in eight of her last 13 games. She has 49 total goals in that span, an average of 3.8 per game.
In addition to Bensen’s five goals, four different Quakers had two goals as Penn again balanced out its attack. Lely DeSimone, Catherin Dickinson, Lindsey Smith and Iris Williamson each had a pair of goals in the game, DeSimone scoring two for the fourth time this season.
The work of the attack made another ravenous day for the defense stand tall. Penn caused 14 turnovers in the game and won 12 draw controls, but where the Quakers truly stood out was in the ground ball battle. Penn scooped up 22 ground balls to just eight for the Hoyas.
Meg Markham was all over the field once again for the Quakers, causing five turnovers and winning five draw controls while adding two ground balls. She has three games this season with five or more draw controls, while the five caused turnovers are a season-best. Lely DeSimone, Megan Kelly and Lydia Miller each had two caused turnovers to add in the swarming nature of Penn’s defense which limited the Hoyas to just four shots in the second half.
Kelly led all players with four ground balls, while Dickinson had three. Six other Quakers – Smith, Markham, Brook Kiley, Taylor Foussadier, DeSimone and McKenzie Hunt – had two ground balls each.
The Quakers were quick strike in the first ten minutes, never going more than three minutes without scoring a goal. Bensen got things started in the opening minute with a goal 58 seconds into the game. Just over two minute later, Lindsey Smith scored – finishing a sequence started with a Lucy Ferguson save and a Lely DeSimone ground ball and clear. Williamson would make the lead 3-0 as she went short-side for her first of the game after a long possession for the Quakers.
Just over a minute after Williamson’s goal, Bensen and Nina Corcoran worked a give-and-go, Bensen finishing with a quick-stick goal to make it 4-0 Quakers. A free position goal from Smith at the 9:50 mark capped Penn’s run to open the game. After the Hoyas got on the board, Williamson scored her second goal of the game in similar fashion to her first, dodging past defenders and sneaking a shot inside the short side post.
The Hoyas would inch back into the game a bit before halftime, climbing within three goals at 8-5. Penn would not allow Georgetown to get any close, as Bensen notched the hat trick early in the second half. After the Hoyas would score a goal with 19:07 to play which made the score 10-7 in favor of the Red and Blue, Penn rattled off the next five goals to ice the game.
Williamson finished the game with two goals and two assists – a new career-high for assists in a game. Corcoran had a goal and two assists – her 13th consecutive game with two or more points.
The Quakers will head to No. 1 Maryland on Wednesday to take on the defending national champions. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m.
Notes:Tory Bensen moved into a tie for sixth place all-time at Penn with 107 career goals ... Bensen also is tied for 11th all-time in points with 125 ... Corcoran remains in seventh place all-time in assists with 47.