Markham Named Ivy League Defender of the Year

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PHILADELPHIA – No. 15 Penn received a League-best seven All-Ivy selections in the Ivy League’s end-of-the-year voting, led by Defender of the Year Meg Markham.

Penn earned three first-team All-Ivy selections, including a second consecutive unanimous first-team nod for Meg Markham. Lucy Ferguson was named first-team All-Ivy at goalkeeper for the second year in a row, and sophomore Nina Corcoran earned her first career All-Ivy selection with first-team honors at attack.

Three more Quakers were honored with second-team All-Ivy selections. Taylor Foussadier picked up her second career All-Ivy honor to go with an honorable mention nod in 2012. Seniors Tory Bensen and Lindsey Smith were selected as All-Ivy performers for the first time in their careers.

Sophomore Lely DeSimone was named honorable mention All-Ivy at midfield, the first All-Ivy selection of her career.

“I am extremely proud of our seven All-Ivy selections,” head coach Karin Corbett said. “We pride ourselves on our work as a team and to lead the League in All-Ivy voting shows just how many different players have contributed to our success this season. I have counted on each of these players to come up big at different times and they have responded to help us win a record eighth-consecutive Ivy championship. These honors are well-deserved for each player.”

Meg Markham leads the Ivy League in caused turnovers (35) and leads all defenders in ground balls (41) on her way to All-Ivy honors. In terms of per-game averages, Markham is third in the NCAA in caused turnovers-per-game at 2.5 and 14th in ground balls at 2.93. She posted nine games this season with three or more caused turnovers and seven with three or more ground balls. She also added 32 draw controls this season to lead the Quakers and rank eighth in the Ivy League.

Lucy Ferguson leads the Ivy League in both goals-against average (7.66) and save percentage (.473) to backstop the nation’s eighth-best scoring defense which is allowing 7.71 goals-per-game. Her 10 wins are the most by any Ivy goalkeeper and she has played six games this season where she allowed six or fewer goals.

A first-time All-Ivy selection, Nina Corcoran has posted career highs in goals (20), assists (19) and points (39) this season to rank second on the team in overall scoring. In Ivy play, Corcoran has registered 25 points, including five-point outings against Yale, Brown, Columbia and Cornell.

Penn’s leading scorer, Tory Bensen earned her first All-Ivy selection on the strength of a career-high 41 points. Her 32 goals are also a career high and lead the Red and Blue while ranking sixth in the Ivy League. Her 41 points are tied for fifth.

One of Penn’s primary match-up defenders, Taylor Foussadier has 14 ground balls and eight caused turnovers this season while helping Penn lead the Ivy League in scoring defense. She has two ground balls in four different games this season – three of which have been Ivy contests.

Lindsey Smith set career highs this season in goals (15), assists (six), points (21), and draw controls (10) as one of Penn’s top two-way players. She scored multiple goals in six different games, and 11 of her 15 goals came against Ivy opponents.

After serving primarily as a defender in 2013, Lely DeSimone broke out offensively in a new role in 2014 to earn honorable mention All-Ivy honors. DeSimone did not record a shot in 2013 – this year she scored 21 goals to rank second on the team. She also caused eight turnovers and picked up 20 ground balls when called upon defensively. 10 of her goals came in Ivy play, including four against Yale.

Penn is the No. 2 seed in the Ivy League Tournament which begins Friday at Princeton. The Quakers will play No. 3 seed Harvard at 4 p.m. A Penn win sends the Quakers to the championship game set for noon on May 4.