Ancient Eight Showdown set for Women's Lacrosse

4.15.15 // 7 p.m. // Philadelphia, Pa.
Franklin Field //Directions
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It's mid-April, which in the Ivy League women's lacrosse world means Penn and Princeton are once again set to meet with sole possession of first place on the line. The latest installment of this hotly-contested rivalry is set for April 15 at Franklin Field with first draw scheduled for 7 p.m.

Both teams enter the week ranked inside the Top-15 in the latest IWLCA Coaches Poll, Penn earning a ranking of No. 11 on the strength of its 10-2 overall record and 4-0 mark inside the Ivy League. Princeton is close behind, slotted at No. 13 with a 9-3 record and a 4-0 effort so far in Ivy games.

The Quakers are perfect at home this season, posting a 5-0 mark to this point at Franklin Field. The Red and Blue have simply been dominant on home turf, outscoring opponents by a 62-30 margin. In fact, Penn has more goals (62) during its five home games this season than its opponents have had shots on goal (61). Penn has put the pedal to the floor in the first half at home this season, outscoring visiting teams by a 35-15 margin in the opening 30 minutes.

The Tigers are 2-2 in their last four games, with losses to Delaware and No. 1 Maryland and wins over Yale and Cornell. Of their nine wins overall this season, four Tiger victories have been by three goals or fewer, including three inside the Ivy League. The Tigers have two wins over ranked opponents -- a 10-8 win over then-No. 9 Loyola in the season opener and a 12-11 victory over then-No. 11 Penn State.

Erin Slifer leads the Tigers with 44 points on 27 goals and 17 assists this season. Olivia Hompe is right behind with 42 points which includes 30 goals. Overall, the Tigers have six players with 12 or more goals. Erin McMunn, the 2013 Ivy League Attacker of the Year, has been hampered by injury this season ut still has 15 goals and 10 assists -- recenty taking over the all-time assist record at Princeton.

In goal, Ellie DeGarmo has a 7-3 record with a .459 save percentage and 10.02 GAA. Nine different players in front of DeGarmo have at least 10 ground balls, led by Slifer who has 20. Three different players have 20+ draw controls for the Tigers, led by Anya Gersoff's 26.

Ivy League’s Last Two Unbeaten Teams in Conference Play to Meet
As has often been the case since 2007, Penn and Princeton will meet on the third Wednesday of April with matching undefeated records in Ivy League play and eyes on an Anicent Eight championship. Both teams enter tonight’s game with 4-0 records in League play, The winner has the inside track on the Ivy title and the right to host the Ivy League Tournament May 1-3.

Quakers Have Had the Better of the Series of Late
After going 13 years without a win against their archrivals, Penn has won eight of the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Penn is 4-2 against the Tigers at Franklin Field since 2007, including a 3-1 record in regular season games.

Atop the Ancient Eight
Penn is 57-3 in regular season Ivy League games dating back to the 2007 season. That equates to a .950 winning percentage in conference games. Outside of Princeton (6-2) and Dartmouth (8-1), the Quakers are perfect against every other Ivy team in regular season action since their title run began.

Red and Blue Boast Top-Tier Defense
As is customary in University City, the Penn defense has been staunch to start the season. The Quakers rank sixth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 6.58 goals-per-game. The Quakers have held opponents to seven goals or fewer in eight of 12 contests this season.

One and Done
Twice this season -- against Saint Joseph’s and Columbia -- Penn has allowed only one goal. No other Ivy League team has accomplished that feat even once and only one ofther team in the nation -- Albany -- has done so,

We’ll Take That...
With a team defense in the upper echelon, it is not surprising that Penn is also inside the top tier in caused turnovers, ranking No. 30 with 8.92 CTs per game. Meg Markham is third in the nation individually with 2.75 CTs per game.

Quakers Improving on the Draw
Penn struggled last year on the draw, ranking 101st in the country with 7.94 draws-per-game. This season, Penn is averaging 10.58 draws-per-game.

Penn Finding the Back of the Net
Penn has been pushing the pace on offense this season, and finding the back of the net at a much-improved clip. The Quakers are averaging 10.83 goals-per-game, good for 50th in the nation. Last year, Penn averaged 8.78 goals-per-game which was No. 84 in Division I. Through 18 games in 2014, Penn scored 12 or more goals just twice. This season, Penn has scored 12 or more five times.

Corcoran Can Do it All
Junior attacker Nina Corcoran is 17th in the country in assists-per-game with 1.83 and is 27th overall in assists with 22 helpers through 11 games. She is second on the Quakers in total points with 37, and her 3.08 points-per-game ranks 91st in the nation. She will be looking to bounce back afte rbeing held without a point on Saturday against Harvard.

Tory is Near the Top
Senior attacker Tory Bensen is 12th in the nation in goals-per-game with 3.17. Her 38 goals through 11 games are tied for the most by any Ivy League player and ranks 30th overall in the country.

Ferguson Finds High Rankings in Goalkeeper Stats
Senior keeper Lucy Ferguson ranks sixth in the country in goals-against average at 6.52. Her .521 save percentage is also good for fourth among all keeepers.

Lucy Leads the League
Lucy Ferguson currently sits atop the Ivy League in both goals-against average and save percentage. She paced the Ivy League in GAA last season, and was second in save percentage. In 2013, she was tops among Ivy keepers in save percentage and second in GAA.

Corcoran, Markham Close in on Century Mark
A pair of Quakers are closing in on the century mark in individual statistics. Nina Corcoran has 95 career points entering the weekend, five away from becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach 100 career points. Meg Markham enters the game with 98 career caused turnovers. With two more caused turnovers she will reach the century mark in caused turnovers, ground balls and draw controls. She enters the game with 118 ground balls and draw controls. Ironically, for two players who have been filling up the stat sheet this season, Corcoran was held without a point and Markham without a caused turnover Saturday at Harvard.

Foussadier Honored as Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week
For the first time in her career, Taylor Foussadier picked up an Ivy League weekly award as the senior defender was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week on April 13. Foussadier had just two ground balls in terms of statistical effort against Harvard, but her matchup defense held Harvard sniper Marisa Romeo without a point for the first time in her career.

Quakers Contain Crimson, 8-6
Iris Williamson willed Penn to its 10th win of the season, scoring a career high six goals as Penn held off Harvard, 8-6, in Cambridge. Williamson took over early in the second half, scoring three consecutive goals to turn a 3-2 Penn lead into a 6-2 cushion. Lucy Ferguson made eight saves in the game.

Corcoran, Markham Close in on Century Mark
A pair of Quakers are closing in on the century mark in individual statistics.Nina Corcoranhas 95 career points entering the weekend, five away from becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach 100 career points.Meg Markhamenters the game with 98 career caused turnovers. With two more caused turnovers she will reach the century mark in caused turnovers, ground balls and draw controls. She enters the game with 118 ground balls and draw controls.

Meg MarkhamNamed Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week
For the second time this season -- and fifth in her career --Meg Markhamwas named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week. She was instrumental in Penn holding Columbia to just one goal in an Ivy win, with two caused turnovers and two ground balls. On Sunday at Northwestern, she recorded five caused turnovers, five draw controls and three ground balls -- limiting Widlcat sniper Selena Lasota to just two goals.

Red and Blue Come up One Goal Short at #6 Northwestern
Penn put itself in an early hole on the road at No. 6 Northwestern on April 5, falling behind by scores of 4-0 and 5-1 before rallyin in the second half.Tory Bensenscored two of her three goals in the final ten minutes of the game to knot the contest, 8-8. She almost gave her team the win in regulation, but her shot with five seconds to go sailed just high. In overtime,Nina Corcoranhit a post on a point-blank offering which would have given Penn the win. Instead, it was a Wildcats goal with 13 seconds remaining in overtime which was the difference in a 9-8 game.

Quakers Dominate Second Half at Columbia
Goals were hard to come by in the first half at Columbia on Wednesday as Penn built just a 1-0 lead through 30 minutes. In the second half, the Quakers exploded for nine goals on their way to a 10-1 win -- improving to 19-0 all-time against Columbia.Tory BensenandIris Williamsonhad hat tricks for Penn,Nina CorcoranandLely DeSimoneeach added two goals.Lucy Fergusonmade six saves.

Penn Has Three Named Inside Lacrosse Mideseason All-American
Meg Markhamwas named Midseason first-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine on Thursday, one of three Quakers honored.Lucy Fergusonwas second-team All-American andTory Bensenwas named to the Midseason third team. The three players listed were the most by an Ivy League program.

Markham One of 15 Player of the Year Candidates from Inside Lacrosse
Meg Markhamwas also recognized as one 15 likely candidates for Player of the Year by Inside Lacrosse, ranked No. 12 on their list.Lucy Fergusonwas included in the “Also Receiving Consideration” group which featured the next ten players. They were the only two Ivy League players in the group of 25.

Trio of Hat Tricks Takes Down Towson
Three different Quakers --Tory Bensen,Lely DeSimone,Iris Williamson-- had three goals as part of Penn’s 12-5 win over Towson. Williamson finished the game with five total points, tying her career high.

Lucy FergusonNamed Lacrosse Magazine Midseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Two standout performances pushedLucy Fergusonto top honors among goalkeepers in Lacrosse Magazine’s midseason awards. She was also named midseason All-American by the magazine -- an honor she shared with teammateMeg Markham.

Quakers Dispatch Dartmouth, 10-5
Penn pulled away from the Big Green at Franklin Field, turning a 4-2 halftime lead into a 10-5 win.Lely DeSimonehad three goals to lead the Quakers, adding two caused turnovers and three ground balls.Lucy Fergusonmade eight saves in the game -- seven of which came in the second half.

Tory BensenAdded to Tewaaraton Watch List
After a strong start to the season, senior attackerTory Bensenwas added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. She joins teammatesLucy FergusonandMeg Markhamin contention for college lacrosse’s highest honor.

Terps Too Much for Quakers
Penn hung tight with No. 1 Maryland on Wednesday, ultimately falling to the Terps, 12-7.Tory Bensenhad two goals and an assist whileNina Corcoranhad two goals.Lucy Fergusondid her part to keep the Quakers in the game, making a career high 15 saves.Meg Markhamhad four caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Markham and Bensen Sweep Ivy Awards
For the first time since April of 2013, Penn won both the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of the Week and Defenseive Player of the Week awards.Tory Bensensecured her second consecutive Offensive Player of the Week Award with a second straight eight-goal week.Meg Markhamhad eight caused turnovers and six draw controls as Penn stifled two opponents. Markham also added ECAC Division I South Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Quakers Hound Hoyas
Penn scored the game’s first five goals against Georgetown, taking a commanding lead and never giving it back.Tory Bensenfinished with five goals, whileIris Williamsonhad two goals and two assits as Penn defeated the Hoyas, 15-8.Meg Markhamhad five caused turnovers and five draw controls to lead the defense.

Defense Plays a Full Game’s Worth of Shutout D against Hoyas/SJU
Starting with the game against Saint Joseph’s, Penn played over a full game’s worth of shutout defense in two wins against Saint Joseph’s and Georgetown. Penn did not allow a goal over the final 50:07 of play against the Hawks before holding the Hoyas off the scoreboard for the game’s first 12:16 for a total of 62:23 of shutout play.

Bensen Scores 100th Career Goal vs. Saint Joseph’s
With her first goal of the game on Tuesday against the Hawks,Tory Bensenbecame the eighth player in program history to score her 100th career goal.

Quakers Cruise Past Saint Joseph’s, 13-1
Penn scored the final 12 goals of Tuesday’s game with Saint Joseph’s to down their Philly competitors, 13-1.Nina Corcoranhad a career high seven points in the game on two goals and five assists.

Red and Blue are Better than Brown
In the opening game of the 2015 Ivy League season, Penn burst out to a 6-1 halftime lead at Brown, and denied the Bears a late comeback in a 9-7 win.Tory BensenandNina Corcoraneach finished the game with three goals and an assist.Lucy Fergusonmade 10 saves in the victory as the Quakers dealt Brown its first loss of the season.

Quakers Rush Past Rutgers
In their first-ever game against a Big Ten opponent, Penn took the pace of play right to Rutgers en route to a 17-7 win in New Jersey. The 17 goals scored were the most ever by a Penn team against Rutgers in 17 total meetings, led by a career-high five fromIris Williamson.Nina Corcoranhad a career-high five assists, whileTory Bensentied her career high with six points on five goals and an assist.

Nina CorcoranNamed Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week
JuniorNina Corcoranregistered a career-high six points in Penn’s win over Vanderbilt, earning her first career Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week award. Corcoran tied her career high with four assists in the game.

Bensen Scores a Dandy Late to Vanquish Vandy
SeniorTory Bensenwas quiet for most of Penn’s game against Vanderbilt, but came through late with the tying goal to send the game to overtime and then netting the game-winner with 0:04 to play in OT as Penn edged the Commodores, 12-11.

Quakers Derail Delaware’s Hot Start
Penn ventured south to Delaware for its first game of 2015 last weekend, taking on a Blue Hens team which was 2-0 and had scored 39 goals in two games to start the season. The Quakers neutralized the Delaware attack, and put the first loss of the season on the Blue Hens, 9-7.

Tory BensenBrings The Offense to Blue Hens
Senior attackerTory Bensenpicked right up where she left off last season, tying her career high with six goals against Delaware.

Megan KellyNamed Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week
Sophomore defenderMegan Kellymade her first career appearance a memorable one as she recorded three caused turnovers and three ground balls in the win at Delaware. After missing all of 2014 with injury, Kelly’s remarkable debut earned her Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in the opening round of weekly awards.

Penn’s Starting Defense is “All-Ivy”
With Kelly earning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week last week, each of Penn’s four starting defenders as earned either Ivy Defensive Player of the Week or been named All-Ivy at some point during their careers.Meg Markham(Two-time All-Ivy, 2014 Ivy Defender of the Year, three-time Defender of the Week),Taylor Foussadier(Two-time All-Ivy),Lydia Miller(All-Ivy) and Kelly (POW) give Penn the League’s most recognized defense.

Markham Hits Century Mark “Daily Double”
Meg Markhamhas been causing havoc defensively for the Quakers the past three years, setting her up for a few career milestones this season. She recorded her 100th career ground ball against Vanderbilt and hit the centruy mark in draw controls against Rutgers.

Welcome Back…
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 MillerandLindsey Smithall will finish their careers this season for the Quakers.

Defense Looks to Dominate Again
The Quakers 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-AmericanMeg Markhamleads 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.

Ferguson Returns to the Cage
Senior goalkeeperLucy Fergusonis 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.

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.

Another Chance at the Champs
With Penn’s game at Maryland on March 18, the Quakers will take on the defending national champions for the ninth consecutive season. Add in regular-season foe Princeton, and the Quakers have taken on the reigning champs in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

Penn is Climbing Ivy Title Charts
Penn is tied with Princeton for third-most Ivy League titles with ten overall. Harvard is first with 12, while Dartmouth is second with 11.

Quakers Proficient at “Hanging Ten”
The Quakers have won 10 games in a season in 10 of the last 11 seasons after going 23 years without a 10-win season.

All-Time in the Ivy League
This year marks the 36th year of Ivy League women’s lacrosse. The Red and Blue are 167-97-2 all-time in Ivy League contests.