Bensen, Markham Earn Ivy League Yearly Awards

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team earned six All-Ivy selections as voted on by the Ivy League’s head coaches, led by the Tory Bensen and Meg Markham who were chosen best at their position.

Meg Markham repeated as Ivy League Defender of the Year, becoming the first player in the three-years that the Ivy League has broken its awards out into positional selections to repeat as the League’s best attacker, midfielder, or defender.

Tory Bensen was named the Ivy League’s Attacker of the Year, the first Quaker to earn the honor. Her selection makes Penn the first program in the Ivy League to win all three of the Ancient Eight’s positional awards. In addition to Markham (2014, 2015) and Bensen this year, Shannon Mangini was the Ivy League’s first Midfielder of the Year in 2013.

Bensen and Markham are joined by Lucy Ferguson as first-team All-Ivy selections. Nina Corcoran, Lely DeSimone and Taylor Foussadier were each named second-team All-Ivy.

Unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection Tory Bensen leads all Ivy League players with 46 goals this season, a new career high and the third-highest single-season total in program history. A two-time Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week this season, Bensen had hat tricks in 11 of Penn’s 15 regular season games and scored five game-winning goals. This is her second All-Ivy selection, joining a second-team All-Ivy nod in 2014.

Meg Markham earned her third career first-team All-Ivy selection this season on the strength of a campaign where she led the Ivy League in caused turnovers with 40 – well ahead of the second-best mark of 19. Her 2.67 caused turnovers-per-game rank third among all Division I players. She also has 40 draw controls, which rank sixth in the Ivy League and 24 ground balls which are eighth. Markham is just the third player in Ivy League history to repeat as a yearly award winner, joining Princeton’s Cristi Samaras (1998-99) and Harvard’s Francesca DenHartog (1981-82) who were back-to-back Ivy League Players of the Year.

Lucy Ferguson became just the fourth goalkeeper in Ivy League history to earn three first-team All-Ivy honors, doing so as a unanimous selection for the second time. The Ivy League’s leader in goals-against average at 6.88 and save percentage at .505, Ferguson is also among the nation’s leaders in save percentage (fifth) and GAA (eighth) for the second season in a row. She has now led the Ancient Eight in GAA and save percentage twice during her career, earning a Penn-record seven Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week award during her career. Her 106 saves this season give her 356 for her career, good for fifth all-time by a Penn keeper.

Markham and Ferguson are the first teammates to earn three consecutive first-team All-Ivy honors since Cornell's Courtney Farrell and Katherine Simmons did so from 2006-08.

Nina Corcoran was named All-Ivy for the second time in her career, adding second team honors this season to a first team selection in 2014. The junior leads Penn in assists with 29, a new career high that is second-most in a single season by a Penn player and is second this year among Ivy players. She has recorded four or more assists on four occasions this season, and now ranks sixth all-time at Penn in assists.

Lely DeSimone brings her All-Ivy total to two with her second team honors in 2015 after an honorable mention All-Ivy selection in 2014. She has scored 23 goals this season and has 26 total points, connecting on five game-winning goals. Defensively, she has contributed 14 caused turnovers and 17 ground balls for the Ivy League’s top defensive unit.

Taylor Foussadier will graduate with three All-Ivy selections after earning her second consecutive second-team All-Ivy award to go with honorable mention All-Ivy distinction in 2012. Perhaps Penn’s most consistent match-up defender, Foussadier was Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week this season after a stand-out performance in a win at Harvard.

Penn has qualified for its sixth consecutive Ivy League Tournament, the only program to reach all six editions of the Ancient Eight’s postseason tourney. The Quakers, seeded No. 2, will take on No. 3 Cornell on Friday at 4 p.m. at Princeton.