PHILADELPHIA It has been 16 years since Penn beat Dartmouth in women’s lacrosse, but none of those games were more important than the one this weekend.
When the No. 6 Quakers (10-1, 4-0 Ivy) host the No. 14 Big Green (7-3, 3-1 Ivy) Saturday at noon, both teams will face critical junctures in their seasons. For the first-place Quakers, a win would put them within a game of the Ivy League title; for the Big Green, a win would keep their title hopes and a chance for postseason play alive.
Penn finds itself in control of its own destiny, atop the Ivy League as the last team with an unblemished Ancient Eight record. Behind them are three teams Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth with one loss apiece.
Live streaming video of the game will be available to subscribers of the Penn Sports Network, and free live stats will also be on PennAthletics.com.
A SEASON FOR THE RECORD BOOKS At 10-1, Penn is off to its best start in program history. The Quakers are also 4-0 in the Ivy League, which they have never done in official League play (which began in 1980), but did do against Ivy members in 1977. Penn has already equaled its win total from a year ago, when it went 10-6.
STREAKING Penn has won its last seven in a row, the second-longest win streak in program history. The longest was a nine-game run during Penn’s 1982 Ivy League championship campaign.
IN THE RANKINGS Penn is ranked sixth in both this week’s STX/IWLCA coaches’ poll and InsideLacrosse media poll. The Quakers jumped up five spots in the coaches’ poll and six in the media poll after handling No. 8 Penn State and Harvard last week. It is Penn’s highest national ranking since 1988, when it was fourth in the preseason poll.
Dartmouth is ranked 14th in both polls this week. The Big Green will be the fifth ranked opponent for Penn this year; the Quakers are 3-1 against ranked teams.
IN THE RANKINGS, PART II Penn’s success has also been reflected in the national statistical rankings. Goalie Sarah Waxman is second in the nation in goals-against average (5.64 gpg) and third in save percentage (.571). Meanwhile, the defense is ranked second with a 5.91 goals allowed per game and the offense, scoring 12.64 goals per game, is 18th. Penn also has the second-best win percentage in the nation at .909, behind Maryland’s .923 (the Terps are 12-1).
WITH HONORS Junior attack Rachel Manson earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after posting two straight hat tricks last week. Manson has scored 14 goals in her last five games. Sarah Waxman was also named to the Ivy League Honor Roll. Meanwhile, freshman midfielder Ali DeLuca was named the national Rookie of the Week by womenslacrosse.com.
THE BEST OFFENSE... - Penn’s backline has been superb this season, but has been especially dominant in its last four games. The Quakers have not surrendered more than six goals in any of those games, and have held opponents to six or fewer goals in six of the last seven games.
MOVING ON UP A trio of Quakers are marking their spots in the program’s record book. Chrissy Muller has 60 career assists and is one shy of Lisa Romig’s 61 career assists for second place all-time. Muller is also fifth with 131 career points and eighth in career goals with 74. Meanwhile, junior Rachel Manson is also moving up the goals list with her 69 career tallies, good for 10th. Freshman Ali DeLuca, who has 23 goals, has a chance to break the freshman goals record of 31, held by Penn’s all-time leading scorer, Sherry Marcantonio.
THE SERIES Dartmouth leads the all-time series, 20-7, and has won the last 15 in a row dating back to 1992. Penn’s last win in the rivalry was, ironically, 16 years to the day of this year’s match-up, in a 6-5 win on April 14, 1991.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME The Quakers are returning to Franklin Field for their finaltwo home games after a four-game road swing. Penn is 5-0 at home this year.
NOTING DARTMOUTH The Big Green, national finalists last year, are winners of four in a row dating back to a 10-8 loss at Yale on March 24. Since then, Dartmouth has beaten Columbia, Brown, Vermont and, most recently, Cornell. Junior Kristen Barry scored a career-high six goals in the 14-9 win over the Big Red after Cornell blew an early 5-1 lead. Margo Duke notched a hat trick and Jen Pittman provided a pair of goals and three assists.