PRINCETON – In a game which featured a little bit of everything, the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team advanced to its fifth Ivy League Tournament championship game with a 7-6 win over Cornell.
The game’s pivotal moment came with 18:43 to play in the second half as two-time Ivy League Defender of the Year Meg Markham was issued her second yellow card of the game for a check to the head. In the ensuing man advantage, Lucy Ferguson made a save on a free position by Amie Dickson and an apparent goal by Emily Tripodi on the rebound was waved off as Tripodi was in the crease.
The Quakers would then move down the field, and Tory Bensen scored on a free position of her own to give Penn a two-goal lead.
A Nina Corcoran goal two minutes later gave Penn a three-goal lead, an advantage Penn would need every bit of it to stave off a Big Red rally in the final minutes.
Cornell almost completed the rally, but Lucy Ferguson denied the Big Red one last time. After a Quaker turnover with 1:03 to play, Cornell eventually moved down field for a final offensive set. Penn’s defense stood tall, Taylor Foussadier keeping Lindsay Toppe from getting open. Eventually, Amie Dickson flung a last-ditch shot on goal with 0:11 to play and Ferguson got her pocket down for the last of her nine saves.
Catherine Dickinson scored three goals to lead Penn, giving her seven goals in her last two games – both against Cornell. Nina Corcoran finished with two goals, while Tory Bensen and Lely DeSimone each had a goal.
There were three total goals disallowed in the game. In addition to Tripodi’s with just under 18 minutes to play, Cornell had an apparent Anna Baumeister goal with just over 12 minutes to play called back after a stick check call from the Penn bench revealed an illegal stick. Penn had a goal of its own called off after Catherine Dickinson was also deemed to be playing with an illegal stick after an apparent strike midway through the first half.
The Quakers had control of the early stages of the game. Building a 4-0 lead just before the midway point. Dickinson had two of the goals, scoring twice in three minutes to give the Red and Blue the 4-0 lead. Cornell would claw away at Penn’s lead, with Toppe and Tripodi scoring goals before Dickinson recorded the hat trick with 7:59 to play in the opening period. Catherine Ellis would close the first half scoring with her only goal of the game with 3:19 left in the first frame.
The second period scoring was slow to develop, neither team finding the back of the net until the 2015 Ivy League Attacker of the Year broke the ice. Bensen and Corcoran would score 2:29 apart, regaining a three-goal lead for the Quakers.
Sarah Hefner and Catherine Ellis brought the Big Red back to just a one-goal deficit with 3:41 to play, but it was Markham’s replacement who came up with a big play as Katie Cromie won the ensuing draw and allowed Penn to dictate the next three minutes before a turnover allowed Cornell its one final chance.
The seven goals scored by Penn are tied for the fewest by the Quakers this season, and are the fewest scored by Penn in a win. Cornell’s six goals scored are the fewest by the Big Red all season. Cornell entered the game with the Ivy League’s leading offense, averaging 13.47 goals a game which was 13th overall in the country.
Penn, the only team to compete in all six Ivy League Tournament, has moved on to its record fifth championship game. The Quakers have won three Ivy League Tournaments overall, including the last two. A third consecutive Ivy League Tournament title will punch an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships for the Red and Blue. Penn has qualified for the last nine NCAA Championships.
Sunday’s championship game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Princeton’s Class of 1952 Stadium and can be seen on the American Sports Network stable of networks (TCN in Philadelphia) and the Ivy League Digital Network.
Download: Cornell ILT.pdf