|2.21.15 // 12 p.m. // Neward, Del.|
|Delaware Stadium // Directions|
|Live Video // Live Stats|
|Twitter: @PennWomensLax // Facebook.com/PennWomensLacrosse //
PHILADELPHIA – The No. 14 University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team begins the 2015 season on Saturday, heading to the University of Delaware for a 12 p.m. showdown.
The Quakers are looking to continue a run of dominance in the Ivy League over recent memory and add a ninth consecutive Ivy League championship to the collection in University City. Along the way, Penn has earned eight trips to the NCAA Tournament – the sixth-longest active streak in the NCAA.
Saturday’s game will be the first of the season for the Red and Blue, but will be the third of 2015 for the Blue Hens who have started the season in fine fashion with a pair of wins.
The Red and Blue return 25 players from last year’s team, including 11 who started 12 or more games during the 2014 season.
Welcome Back (Part II) …
Among the 25 returning players is a quartet of “Fifth-Year Seniors” who were injured at some point during their careers and earned a medical hardship. Tory Bensen, Shannon Mangini, Lydia Miller and Lindsey Smith all will finish their careers this season for the Quakers. Among them, they have earned two All-Region awards and three All-Ivy awards while compiling 158 goals, 200 points, and 210 ground balls during their careers.
Defense Looks to Dominate Again|
The Quakers will return four players who appeared in 15 or more games on defense last season as the Red and Blue finished seventh in the country in scoring defense at 7.78 goals allowed-per-game. Reigning Ivy League Defender of the Year and first-team All-American Meg Markham leads the group, coming off a 2014 campaign where she led the Ivy League in caused turnovers with 43 and averaged 2.39 CTs per game which ranked fifth nationally. Joining Markham among the returners are Lydia Miller, Taylor Foussadier and Leah McBride. Sophomore Megan Kelly is expected to add to that mix, returning from injury which caused her to miss all of 2014.
Ferguson Returns to the Cage
Senior goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson is back between the pipes for the Quakers in 2015, coming off a second consecutive first-team All-Ivy season which saw her lead the Ancient Eight in GAA (7.70) and finish second in save percentage at .463. Those numbers ranked her seventh and 16th in the nation in those respective categories.
Pair of Tewaaraton Nominees Back for Penn
Lucy Ferguson and Meg Markham were two of 25 nominees for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award – presented annually to college lacrosse’s top players – last season.
Wealth of Offense Returns
You’d be hard pressed to find a team in the country which returns as much of its scoring output from 2014 as the Quakers do this season. Last year, Penn scored 158 goals. The players returning to the lineup from last season add up to 155 of those goals – or a whopping 98.1 percent.
History Beckons Bensen
Tory Bensen leads all current Quakers with 83 goals and 99 points. She is one point away from becoming the 21st player in program history to eclipse the 100-point plateau and 17 goals away from joining seven other Quakers in the 100-Goal Club.
Markham Milestones Imminent
Meg Markham has been causing havoc defensively for the Quakers the past three years, setting her up for a few career milestones this season. She is two ground balls away from the 100th of her career and 15 draw controls away from surpassing the century mark in that category.
Atop the Ancient Eight
Penn is 53-3 in regular season Ivy League games dating back to the 2007 season. That equates to a .946 winning percentage in conference games. Outside of Princeton (6-2) and Dartmouth (7-1), the Quakers are a perfect 8-0 against every other Ivy team in regular season action since their title run began.
All-Time Dealings With Delaware
Penn holds a 6-2-1 advantage all-time in nine previous meetings with Delaware. Last year, in the first meeting since 2007, the Quakers did not lead until 4:21 had been played in the second half, but used a four-goal run midway through the second period to break a 6-6 tie en route to an 11-8 win at Franklin Field. Tory Bensen had five goals in the win, including four free positions.
Blue Hens Off to Hot Start|
Delaware has won two games in convincing fashion to begin the 2015 season. Last Saturday, the Blue Hens defeated No. 16 Georgetown, 17-5, to open the year. On Tuesday, Delaware routed Lafayette, 22-2. Delaware has been stingy on defense, allowing just 21 shots over two games – including just seven by Lafayette on Tuesday.
Lyons Lighting it Up For Delaware
Penn’s staunch defense will have a true test in its first game of the season as Delaware’s Casey Lyons is coming off a nine-goal game on Tuesday night. Overall this season, she has 12 goals through two games. A second-team All-Region selection last season, she scored 36 goals and tallied 55 points in her first season at Delaware following a transfer from Ohio State.
McCartney Mans Midfield for Blue Hens
Senior Caitlin McCartney is a three-time All-Region selection for Delaware who is coming off a 48-point, 40-draw control season in 2014. She has six goals, seven draw controls and five ground balls to open 2015.
Follow Along With the Red and Blue
You can keep up with the Quakers all season online via Twitter (@PennWomensLax) and Facebook (Facebook.com/PennWomensLacrosse) and on Instagram at PennWomensLax.