PHILADELPHIA - After playing two Ivy League home games in a four-day span, the Penn men’s lacrosse team closes out the 2009 Ivy season Saturday afternoon on the road. The Quakers are at Brown for a 1 p.m. start.
For Penn (2-7, 1-4 Ivy), Tuesday night’s game with No. 2 Princeton served as a great example of what the Quakers had hoped to be this season. Nevertheless, all they have to show for it is a 10-9 overtime loss to the Tigers. However, head coach Brian Voelker is hoping that the loss gives the team the confidence that they can play with the other ranked teams still left on the schedule including Saturday’s opponent.
Penn still has three non-conference games left to end the season with, beginning next weekend when the Quakers host Maryland.
The Series With Brown
Brown leads the series over Penn, 28-18, but the Quakers have won three of the last five meetings including a 12-10 decision two years ago in Providence and a 9-8 game here at Franklin Field in 2006. Last year, in Philadelphia, the Bears were able to pull out an 8-5 decision.
The Bears (9-1, 2-0) are ranked 12th in this week’s USILA national coaches’ poll, making the Bears the third ranked team Penn has played in the last four games. Brown can score -- their 11.8 goals-per-game average is eighth nationally. Andrew Feinberg and Kyle Hollingsworth run the show offensively for Brown; Feinberg is second among Ivy players and fourth nationally averaging 4.0 points per game, while Hollingsworth is fourth in the Ivies (11th nationally) with a 3.6 average. Nationally, Hollingsworth is fifth in assists per game and Feinberg is eighth in goals per game. At the other end, Jordan Burke’s .616 save percentage is tops in the Ivy League among regular goalies and seventh nationally.
After allowing 36 goals against Bryant and Cornell, Penn held Dartmouth and Princeton to a combined 16 goals in its last two contests.
In Tuesday night’s game with Princeton, the Quakers outshot the Tigers 33-23.
Sophomore Corey Winkoff entered the week third among Ivy League players and 11th nationally in assists per game (1.71), while senior Craig Andrzejewski is fifth in in the Ivies in goals per game (2.14).
Andrzejewski had two assists Tuesday against Princeton, his fourth multi-point game in a row and seventh this season (out of nine games total).
With 129 career points -- including a team-high 23 this season (17g, 6a) -- Andrzejewski is in ninth place on Penn’s all-time scoring list. He needs 19 more points to catch Todd Minerly in eighth place.
Senior Garvey Heiderman also had two points vs. Princeton; he has 14 goals for the season which is second on the team, and four multi-goal games in 2009.
Andrzejewski and Heiderman are the only Penn players to have recorded a point in every game this season; Andrzejewski has a 13-game point-scoring streak dating back to last season.
After going scoreless through Penn’s first five games, senior Drew Collins has scored nine goals in the last four contests; he had four points (3g, 1a) against Princeton.
Winkoff, who led the Ivy League in assists per game a year ago, leads Penn with 14 this season (the rest of the team has 20); he has six multi-point games in 2009.
Sophomore Al Kohart had three points (1g, 2a) vs. Princeton; he has four in the last two games, after going scoreless in three straight contests.
Senior Alex Weber had his second multi-goal game of the season Tuesday night, and is tied for third on the team with nine goals overall; he has scored in seven of nine games this season.
Freshman John Conneely scored his first collegiate goal last Friday against Dartmouth; he also has two assists this season.
Junior Rob McMullen has scored in three of the last four games for Penn; he entered the season with four career goals.
Freshman Joe Hegener has started the last six games in goal for the Quakers; he has a 12.30 goals-against average and a .414 save percentage.
Junior Justin Lynch has a .542 win percentage on face-offs (115 won, 97 lost) and leads Penn with 62 ground balls (good for fifth nationally). He won 15 of his 23 draws Tuesday night vs. Princeton.
Junior Joe Kelly, a long stick on the face-off unit and a starting defender, is second on the squad with 38 ground balls.
Quoting Coach Voelker...
“The biggest thing from Tuesday’s game against Princeton was that we played well against a very good team. We executed better than we have all season, we won faceoffs and then took care of the ball when we had it, and we played very well defensively against a good offensive team. We will need to get that kind of effort again Saturday against another great team.”
“When you play a midweek game, it throws things off a bit -- our prep time for Brown has been shortened, whereas they’ve had a whole week to prepare for us. That said, I don’t think they will throw us a lot of surprises. They have very strong offensive players; they don’t run a lot of middies, but the guys that do play are very good; and they might have the best goalie in the country.”
“We needed to play well to get some of our confidence back, and I think we did that on Tuesday -- I am hopeful that will carry over to the weekend. But we need to remember that what we did on Tuesday will not matter if we go out there and revert back to what we were doing in previous games. We need to build on what we did Tuesday.”