NCAA First Round: Penn Hosts BU Sunday

[4] Penn vs. Boston University
Sunday, May 13 -Noon - Rhodes Field
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Game Notes in PDF Format

For the first time in 23 years, Penn will take part in the NCAA Championship as it opens up against America East champion Boston University. The Quakers received the tournament’s fourth seed after rolling to a program-best 14-1 regular season record.

There’s No Place Like... Home?
Since Penn is hosting the semifinals and final at Franklin Field, the Quakers’ fourth seed assured them of homefield advantage throughout the NCAA tournament, except for one minor glitch: due to the University’s graduation at Franklin Field this weekend, the Quakers have to play at Rhodes Field, home to Penn’s soccer programs. The game will be the first non-soccer event at the stadium and ironically is the first NCAA event hosted by Penn in any sport since men’s soccer took on Seton Hall at Rhodes Field in the NCAA first round in 2002.

There’s No Place Like Home, Part II
Penn is the host institution for the 2007 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, to be held May 25 and 27 at Franklin Field. The Quakers finished their regular season home slate with a perfect 7-0 record. Penn has not lost at Franklin Field since March 29, 2006, when it fell to then-No. 3 Johns Hopkins, 12-9, giving the Quakers an 11-game home win streak.

It’s Been Awhile
Let’s put it this way — the last time Penn made the NCAA tournament, as an at-large selection in 1984, not a single member of the 2007 team was alive yet (seniors Sarah Eastburn, born Oct. 18, 1984, and Chrissy Muller, born Dec. 18, 1984, were the only two born that year). This is Penn’s third-ever NCAA appearance, having also been in it in 1983. The Quakers competed in the AIAW tournament, the precursor to the NCAA Championship, in 1980 and 1982, reaching the final four both times. Penn’s last postseason play of any kind was in 2001, when it lost to Johns Hopkins, 18-12, in the ECAC Championship.

Renna Named Tewaaraton Nominee
Sophomore defender Hilary Renna has been named one of 17 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award, the honor given to college lacrosse’s best player. While Renna didn’t make the five-member finalist list announced Thursday, she is still the first Tewaaraton nominee in program history and one of three Ivy players on the shortlist. A speedy defender, Renna has been charged with guarding some of the nation's most dangerous attackers. She held Yale's Lauren Taylor and Johns Hopkins' Mary Key, the two leading scorers in the nation, to just a goal each. Renna has twice been named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Comeback Kids
Penn had to orchestrate its first come-from-behind victory at No. 7 Syracuse, coming back from a 7-2 halftime deficit to win, 10-8. The Quakers were down by four with 15 minutes left in the game, then went on a six-goal tear, starting with Chrissy Muller’s goal at 15:08, followed by goals by Allison Ambrozy, two from Becca Edwards and the game-winner by Ali DeLuca. Chelsea Kocis added an insurance goal near the end of the game.

Notes From Syracuse
Penn finished the regular-season with a program-record 14 wins ... Penn’s 188 goals sets a regular-season record, surpassing the 2006 team’s mark of 167 goals set in 16 games ... Syracuse was the seventh ranked team Penn faced this year, with the Quakers going 6-1 in those games ... Penn beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome for the second consecutive year. A scheduling quirk led to back-to-back home games for the Orange in the series ... It was Penn’s second-straight comeback win over Syracuse.

Noting BU
The Terriers, champions of the America East conference, are making their fifth overall NCAA appearance and third in a row. BU’s only win over an NCAA team came against Hofstra, and they’ve also taken losses to Northwestern and Yale. It has a quartet of dangerous goalscorers in Sarah Dalton (52g, 7a), Angie Martin (36g, 23a), Lauren Morton (39g, 6a) and Traci Landy (37g, 4a). Jenna Golden has seen the bulk of the minutes in goal, posting a 9.44 goals-against average. BU holds a slight edge over Penn in goals per game (13.06 versus 12.53) but is allowing 9.44 per game, more than three goals above what Penn allows.

Ambrozy Named Ivy Offensive Player of the Week
No one was more critical to Penn’s comeback win at Syracuse than Allison Ambrozy, and she was recognized as the Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for her performance. Ambrozy helped Penn hold a 15-5 advantage on draw controls, snaring five of her own while helping control all but one draw down the stretch during Penn’s comeback. Ambrozy also added two goals, both in the second half.

Ivies in The NCAA Field
Penn is one of three Ivy League teams in the NCAA field of 16. Yale and Princeton received at-large bids; the Quakers could potentially meet the Bulldogs in the second round as Yale faces fifth-seeded Maryland. Princeton gets a rematch with third-seeded Virginia, which the Tigers upset in the first round last year.

Gracious Hosts
Penn and BU are the last two hosts of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship. BU’s Nickerson Field hosted the event last year, while Franklin Field will hold it this year.

Penn has won its last 11 in a row, the longest win streak in program history. The Quakers’ win at Brown on April 21 broke a 25-year old record of nine games in a row set during Penn’s 1982 Ivy League championship campaign. BU is also on a streak, winning its last nine in a row.

In the Rankings
Penn is ranked second in the nation in this week’s STX/IWLCA coaches’ poll. The ranking is the highest in the history of the poll dating back to 1988. The Quakers are also ranked third in the Inside Lacrosse media poll. Penn began the season ranked 20th in the coaches’ and 18th in the media poll.

Moving On Up
A trio of Quakers are marking their spots in the program’s record book. Chrissy Muller has 68 career assists and moved into second place all-time. Muller is also fourth with 142 career points and seventh in career goals with 78. Meanwhile, junior Rachel Manson is moving up the goals list with her 77 career tallies, good for eighth.

Manson Nears 100
With 98 career points, Rachel Manson is just two away from 100 for her career. She would be the 13th player in program history to reach the century mark.

Defense Wins Championships
Penn’s defense has been a major component of its success this year. The Quakers backline, along with goalkeeper Sarah Waxman, have held opponents to just 6.33 goals per game, second-best in the country. Penn has allowed 10 or more goals only twice this year, and has held its opponent to five or fewer a remarkable seven times in 15 games. Twice the Quaker D has worked shutouts in the first half (at Harvard, 10-0, and at Brown, 3-0).

Defending the Player of the Week
Just how good has the Penn defense been? It has been reflected in the Ivy League’s weekly awards, as Penn players have picked up Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week honors five times out of nine weeks. The Wuakers had gotten three of four until last week, when they were idle. Hilary Renna and Sarah Waxman have each earned the honor twice, while Becca Edwards won it on April 16.

Waxman Among National Leaders
Goalie Sarah Waxman is second in the nation behind Northwestern’s Morgan Lathrop with a 6.17 goals-against average. Waxman is also sixth in the country in save percentage with a .535 mark.

Not Bad for a Rookie
When freshman Ali DeLuca scored three goals and an assist in her collegiate debut against Drexel back on Feb. 24, the future looked bright for the middie. DeLuca has not disappointed since, racking up 31 goals and eight assists and establishing herself as a top candidate for Ivy League and national rookie of the year honors. DeLuca has tied the Penn freshman goals record of 31 set by all-time leading scorer Sherry Marcantonio in 1980 and her 39 points are third on the team.

All In the Family
Freshman Barb Seaman is, like her Quaker teammates, taking part in her first-ever NCAA tournament. But she isn’t the only one in her family chasing a national title this year — her father, Tony Seaman, is the head coach of the Towson men’s program (and a former head coach of Penn’s men’s team), while her brother, Greg, is a sophomore member of Princeton’s men’s team. Towson takes on Cornell, while Princeton plays Georgetown in the first round.

Next Time Out
The winner of Penn/BU will face the winner of Sunday’s Maryland/Yale game on Saturday, May 19. If Penn takes part in the quarterfinals, it will host the game at Franklin Field.

Download: wlax notes BU.pdf