PHILADELPHIA – After opening the 2016 season with a win over Michigan at home, the University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team hopes to make an early statement nationally this weekend. The Quakers hit the road to take on their first ranked opponent of 2016, facing No. 11 University of Virginia on Sunday at 1 p.m.
GAME 2 – PENN (1-0) at #11 VIRGINIA (1-2)
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 * 1 p.m.
Klockner Stadium (Charlottesville, Va.)
The Series with Virginia
The Quakers and the Cavs have met seven times, most recently at the end of last year when Virginia gained a 12-6 win at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Penn and UVA also met in 2012 (a 10-8 Virginia win in Denver, Colo.) and 2011 (an 11-2 Cavs win in Charlottesville). Prior to that, the teams had not met since 1998. Penn’s only wins in the series came in 1929 (10-1) and 1931 (9-2).
The Cavaliers are coming off an overtime loss to High Point on Tuesday, after opening the season with a loss to Loyola (Md.) and a win over Drexel. Zed Williams leads UVA in goals (7) and points (8), while AJ Fish, Mike D’Amario and Greg Coholan have four goals each. Coholan, James Pannell and Mike Herring have three assists each, tops on the team. In goal, Matt Barrett has gotten most of the minutes; he has a .455 save percentage and a 10.05 goals-against average. Jason Murphy is UVA’s top face-off man, with a staggering .698 win percentage.
Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime
Sunday's game will be the 44th time Penn has faced an opponent ranked in the USILA coaches' poll under seventh-year head coach Mike Murphy. The Quakers are 14-29 in previous such games, and have a 3-4 mark against teams that were ranked 11th at the time of the meeting.
*In addition to Sunday, Penn’s 14-game schedule includes five others against teams ranked in this week’s USILA national coaches’ poll: No. 5 Maryland (March 29), No. 7 Yale (April 2), No. 9 Brown (April 9), No. 14 Harvard (April 16), and No. 15 Penn State (March 5). Three other future opponents -- Cornell, Princeton, Villanova -- are receiving votes, as are the Quakers.
*Penn opened the season with a 12-10 win over Michigan last Saturday. Freshman Reed Junkin was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week after coming up with 12 saves in the Quakers goal in his collegiate debut.
*Penn started four freshmen in the game, with two others seeing major time.
*Senior Pat Berkery and sophomore Connor Keating (a long-stick middie) led the Penn attack with three points each; Keating went for two goals and an assist, while Berkery had a goal and two assists (both of them on Keating’s goals, in fact).
*Two other Quakers, senior Nick Doktor and freshman Simon Mathias, also scored twice while another freshman, Alex Roesner, had two points (1g, 1a). Overall, nine different players scored for Penn.
*The Quakers figure to be led by Doktor, this year’s lone captain. He finished the 2015 regular season with 21 goals and team highs in assists (36) and points (57). His 36 assists are third on Penn’s all-time single-season list in that category, and the most since Peter Hollis had 41 in 1977, while his 57 points are tied for fourth on Penn's single-season list and the most since Jon Cusson had 57 in 1995.
*Doktor -- who on Tuesday was one of 50 men’s players named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List -- finished the 2015 regular season leading the Ivy League and fourth nationally in assists per game (2.77), and third among Ivy players and 12th nationally in points per game (4.38).
*Following his performance last weekend, Doktor remains 11th on Penn’s all-time assist list with 59 and is now tied for 12th on the all-time points list with 117.
*Doktor also has a 28-game point-scoring streak that dates back to the 2014 season; the streak is the seventh-longest in the nation at the NCAA Division I level.
*In January, Doktor became the highest Major League Lacrosse draft pick in Penn’s history when he was selected in the second round (18th overall) by the Charlotte Hounds. Prior to that, the 2015 first-team All-Ivy pick was named an honorable mention Preseason All-America by Inside Lacrosse.
*Two other returnees got well into double figures in the goals column last year, as well, sophomores Kevin McGeary (17) and Reilly Hupfeldt (14). They were Penn’s third and fourth-leading scorers a year ago. Both of them scored last Saturday against Michigan
*Three newcomers to the Penn roster will spend the summer with the United States team at the Under-19 World Cup in Canada -- Roesner, Tyler Dunn and Noah Lejman. A fourth, Joe Licciardi, was on the 30-man roster but did not make the final cut.
*Those three are part of a freshman class that was selected fourth nationally by Inside Lacrosse. Three members of the class played in the prestigious UnderArmour All-America Game last year, and five of the nine were USLacrosse All-Americans last year.
*In addition to ranking Penn’s class overall, Inside Lacrosse named five of Penn’s freshmen among its Power 100 Freshmen of 2016 including three in the Top 20 and four in the Top 40: Lejman (7th); Dunn (13th); Roesner (17th); Mathias (39th); and Licciardi (72nd).