PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's lacrosse team has a lot at stake when it takes the field Saturday against Denver -- like maybe a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years.
Some notes heading into Saturday's 1 p.m. matchup...
Penn (6-6, 3-3 Ivy League) closes out the 2007 regular season, and the Quakers are looking to finish above .500 overall for the second-straight year.
Saturday's game also represents the final home games for seven seniors -- David Cornbrooks, Mark Haase, Matt Kelleher, Gregory Klossner, Ben Newton, Alex Salihi and Alex Staffier.
Penn and Denver have met only one other time, in 2005 when the Pioneers pulled out a 7-6 decision in Denver.
Penn is not only playing for a winning record; depending on what you read or who you talk to, a Quaker win bolsters their NCAA resume. Inside Lacrosse had Penn as last team into the 16-team field two weeks ago, but had them as first team out this week. Regardless, in a topsy-turvy season across the country, Penn is most definitely a bubble team thanks to its strength of schedule.
Penn has not played in two weeks, most recently losing to No. 7 Maryland, 14-10, here at Franklin Field.
J.J. Lian led the Quakers against the Terps, with his first collegiate three-goal game; Craig Andrzejewski had two goals and an assist, while Garvey Heiderman also scored twice.
Andrzejewski entered the week leading the Ivy League and tied for sixth nationally in points per game (4.00); he was second in the Ivies and fifth nationally in assists per game (2.00) and tied for seventh in assists per game (2.00).
Salihi has 22 points (14g, 8a), while Casey O'Rourke has 20 (12g, 8a). Cornbrooks (15), Heiderman (10) and Lian (10) have also reached double figures in the goal category.
Freshman Justin Lynch is establishing himself as a solid face-off man for the Quakers; his .600 win percentage is 11th in the country.
Denver (8-7)-- like Penn an NCAA team a year ago -- has been led this season by Joey Murray (20-21--41), Ilija Gajic (23-8--31) and Jon Paulson (24-5--29). However, the high-scoring Pioneers have two other players with more than 10 goals, and 11 players overall with at least 10 points.
In the Denver goal, Jeb Hollingsworth has played all but one game and has an 8.67 goals against average and a .534 save percentage.