PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's new head coach of men's lacrosse, Mike Murphy, has announced the Quakers' 2010 schedule, and he has started it with his alma mater, Duke.
In between, Penn will play 11 other games including five at Franklin Field -- two against city opponents, and three versus Ivy League foes.
For the last several years -- decades, actually -- Penn lacrosse fans have been able to set the Ivy League schedule like clockwork. With rare exceptions, the Quakers' Ivy gauntlet has run in this order: Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton and Brown.
With Murphy at the helm, Penn's league slate has changed noticeably for 2010. In addition, this year will be the first Ivy League Tournament, a postseason event that will run its semifinals on Friday, May 7 and championship on Sunday, May 9. The regular-season champion will serve as host, and the tournament winner will receive the Ivy League's automatic bid into the 16-team NCAA Championship field.
"We are very excited about our schedule," said Murphy. "We open and finish the regular season with ACC opponents and play six teams that made the NCAA tournament in 2009. We also have some great local rivalries here in Philadelphia, in addition to the strong Ivy League field. We believe we are improving steadily, and we're going to find out how much progress we are making this spring."
The Quakers begin the Murphy era at his alma mater, Duke, on February 27, followed by a midweek trip to Lafayette. The weekend of March 6-7 Penn will be at the University of Denver to take part in the Pioneers' DU Face-off Classic; the Quakers will face host Denver on Saturday, then take on Air Force Sunday. The other team in the event is Lehigh.
Penn's first home game under Murphy comes Wednesday, March 10, when the Quakers host a city school in Saint Joseph's, then Villanova comes to Franklin Field from the Main Line that Saturday for another city tilt. That Monday, the Quakers head to Maryland to take on the Terps at 3 p.m., the seventh consecutive year the teams have met up.
The next six Saturdays after that bring Ivy League games, and the first wrinkle in the new Ivy schedule occurs March 20 when the Quakers travel to Princeton to open conference play. The Quakers host 2009 NCAA finalist Cornell the following weekend, then they are at Yale on April 3. Consecutive Ivy home games mark the schedule April 10 (Brown) and 17 (Harvard), and the Ivy regular-season schedule closes April 24 with Penn traveling to Dartmouth.
PENN MEN'S LACROSSE - 2010 SCHEDULEDates subject to change
Home games in ALL CAPS played at Franklin Field
* - Ivy League game
Day, Date ... Opponent
Saturday, Feb. 27 ... at Duke
Wednesday, March 3 ... at Lafayette
Saturday, March 6 ... at Denver
Sunday, March 7 ... at Air Force
Wednesday, March 10 ... SAINT JOSEPH'S
Saturday, March 13 ... VILLANOVA
Monday, March 15 ... at Maryland
Saturday, March 20 ... at Princeton*
Saturday, March 27 ... CORNELL*
Saturday, April 3 ... at Yale*
Saturday, April 10 ... BROWN*
Saturday, April 17 ... HARVARD*
Saturday, April 24 ... at Dartmouth*
Friday, May 7 ... Ivy League Tournament semifinals (site TBA)
Sunday, May 9 ... Ivy League Tournament final (site TBA)