PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team has had a busy week already, with games last Saturday and this past Tuesday (both of them wins). The Quakers look to close out this successful stretch on Friday night, when they “host” St. John’s at Radnor High School to open the annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival.
GAME 12 – #10 PENN (8-3) vs. ST. JOHN’S (7-6)
Friday, April 25, 2014 * 7 p.m.
Radnor (Pa.) High School * Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival
About the Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival
The Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival began in 2000 and has grown into arguably the premier high school lacrosse event in the United States. Motivated by Katie’s perseverance and courage, volunteers in the lacrosse community and beyond support the cause year after year. The festival is filled with activities for the whole family with exciting lacrosse team matchups, a demonstration of wheelchair sports, food, fan zones, and a spirit of sportsmanship and purpose. With the generous support of more than 50 sponsors, donations from attendees, as well as fundraising efforts by each participating lacrosse team, the Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival has raised more than 1.5 million dollars. Click here for more information about Katie, the Katie Samson Foundation, and the Lacrosse Festival.
The Penn-St. John’s Series
This will be the first meeting between the Quakers and the Red Storm in men’s lacrosse.
About St. John’s
The Red Storm are coming off an overtime win against Villanova last weekend, which closed out Big East regular-season play. St. John’s has played one other Ivy League team this year, losing 10-6 to Yale way back on February 22. Kieran McArdle, who had the OT winner against the Wildcats, has more than 70 points this season, while Colin Keegan is also a major goal scorer. Kevin Cernuto (27 goals) is also a big-time threat, while Ryan Fitzgerald (17g, 11a) is second on the team in assists. In goal, Joseph Danaher has an 11.42 goals-against average and a .515 save percentage.
The Ivy League Picture
Penn is done with Ivy League play, and after an 0-2 start in conference play the Quakers finished 4-2 and guaranteed themselves a spot in the four-team Ivy League Tournament along with Cornell, Harvard and Yale. (The Ivy League Tournament will take place May 2 and 4.) Depending on how results go this weekend, the Red and Blue even have a chance to win a share of the Ivy League title. So what are the Ivy matchups in this final weekend? Cornell (4-1) and Princeton (2-3) will play a neutral-site game in Bethpage, N.Y., Harvard (4-1) is at Yale (3-2), and Dartmouth (0-5) is at Brown (1-4).
*Penn is ranked 10th in this week’s USILA national coaches poll, its highest ranking of the season; the Quakers started the season ranked 18th, and were 11th last week. The other Ivy League teams currently ranked are Yale (11), Cornell (12), Princeton (14) and Harvard (20).
*Penn also is ranked eighth in the Warrior Inside Lacrosse media poll, and 12th in the Lacrosse Magazine weekly poll.
*Looking at Penn’s schedule, six of the Quakers’ 11 opponents so far this season are ranked in this week’s USILA poll: Duke (2), Denver (3), Cornell (11), Yale (13), Harvard (16) and Princeton (19). Penn went 3-3 against those six (wins over Denver, Yale and Harvard). One other opponent the Quakers beat earlier this season -- Saint Joseph’s -- is receiving votes this week.
*Penn entered the week third in Strength of Schedule, or SOS (behind Syracuse and Notre Dame), and third in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI (behind Syracuse and Duke).
*This is nothing new for Penn under Head Coach Mike Murphy; last year, the Quakers’ Strength of Schedule was ranked second at the end of the season (behind only Princeton), while in 2011 it ranked first.
*Penn has won five games in a row, the program’s longest winning streak since the 2006 squad opened the season with six straight victories.
*After going 4-2 in Ivy League play just once between 1989 and 2010 (in 2006), Penn has gone 4-2 in the conference twice in the last four years under Coach Murphy.
*Penn ended the Ivy League campaign with four straight wins. The last team the Quakers won four straight Ivy games? Try 1988, when Penn lost its Ivy opener to Yale, then reeled off five wins in a row to tie for the title with the Bulldogs.
*Penn is just +1 in goals through three quarters of games this season -- 29-32 in the first, 21-20 in the second, 29-26 in the third -- but has outscored its opponents 33-20 in the fourth quarter.
*The Quakers have eight players with at least 12 points, 15 players with at least two goals, and five others who have scored once.
*In Tuesday’s win at Towson, 11 different players scored the Quakers’ 15 goals. Only Nick Doktor (3 goals), Isaac Bock (2) and Chris Hilburn (2) had more than one. In Hilburn’s case, they were the first two goals of his career.
*Penn has had at least six different goalscorers in all but two games this season; in those other two, at Duke and at Yale, the Quakers had five different players score the team’s six goals in the game.
*After allowing 53 goals in a four-game span from March 1-22 (13.3 gpg), Penn has allowed just 32 goals in its last five games (6.4 gpg).
*Senior goalie Brian Feeney has a .667 save percentage the last three games (38 saves, 19 goals allowed) and a .636 save percentage the last five games (56 saves, 32 goals allowed).
*Doktor’s hat trick on Tuesday was his second at Penn; he now leads the Quakers with 26 points, and is tied for the team lead in assists with Zack Losco (11 each); after being shut out in Penn’s season opener, Doktor has his 26 points in the last 10 games (2.6 ppg) including seven multi-point games and six with three or more.
*Losco is the only Penn player to record a point in every game this season; in fact, he enters the St. John’s game with at least one point in 20 straight games dating back to last season.
*Bock, a junior, leads the Quakers with 16 goals, and has scored at least once in all but two games this season (Cornell, Harvard).
*Freshman Kevin Brown (13 goals) -- who had a goal and three assists Tuesday at Towson -- and senior Drew Belinsky (11) are the other players with double-figure goal totals.
*Three other players have double-digit point totals: junior Joe McCallion (14), sophomore Pat Berkery (12), and junior Chris Hupfeldt (12).
*Hupfeldt scored twice at Dartmouth last Saturday, his second multi-goal game this season and third-straight game with two points.
*Junior Andrew Staller scored his first collegiate goal on April 12 against Harvard, then added another score last Saturday at Dartmouth and yet another one Tuesday at Towson.
*Senior defenseman Reid Tudor scored an unassisted goal Tuesday at Towson, the first of his collegiate career.
Penn will play in the Ivy League Tournament next Friday. Site, time and opponent will be determined by Saturday night.