Penn vs.  Maryland
Saturday, May 19 - 1 p.m. - Franklin Field
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After a decisive first-round victory over Boston University, Penn hosts fifth-seeded Maryland in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Quakers hope to keep their magical season going with a ticket to the final four, while the Terps seek their shot at a record tenth NCAA championship.
Taking Down the Terriers
Playing in its first NCAA game in 23 years, Penn’s vaunted defense didn’t disappoint as it held Boston University to its second-lowest goal total of the year in an 11-5 win at Rhodes Field. Rachel Manson scored a hat trick in the win, while Chrissy Muller racked up four points with a pair each of goals and assists. The Quaker defense shined, holding BU, which had averaged 13.06 goals per game, to just five. Sarah Waxman made seven saves in picking up her 15th win of the season and 12th in a row.
There’s No Place Like... Home?
While Penn will play every game of the NCAA tournament at home, it hasn’t exactly been business as usual for the team. By the time Penn takes to the field against Maryland, it will have played and practiced in four different facilities over the past week and a half B Field (a grass practice field), Rhodes Field (Penn’s soccer stadium), Vidas Field (Drexel University’s soccer/lacrosse stadium) and Franklin Field. The displacement has been due to graduation set-up and break-down at Franklin Field. Last week’s first-round game took place at Rhodes Field.
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, and only second appearance in the quarterfinals, also 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.
Noting the First Round
The game was the first-ever meeting between Penn and BU ... Penn won its first NCAA game since beating Loyola in the 1983 first round, 9-5 ... The game was the first-ever non-soccer event held at Rhodes Field ... It was also the first NCAA home game for any Penn sport since men’s soccer lost to Seton Hall in the 2002 first round at Rhodes Field ... Rachel Manson broke the career 100-point mark and is the third Quaker in the past two seasons to do so. Emily Cochran C’06 and current senior Chrissy Muller did it last year ... Ali DeLuca broke the Penn freshman record with her 32nd and 33rd goals, breaking the 27 year-old record set by Sherry Marcantonio in 1980 ... The Penn defense has held opponents to five or fewer goals in eight of its 15 games this year ... Penn lowered its goals-allowed average, which was already second in the nation, to 6.25 goals per game ... Sophomore defender Hilary Renna, a Tewaaraton nominee for her defensive skill, got her first career point with an assist in the second half ... BU failed to convert any of its seven free-position opportunities ... It was only the third time this season that Penn had given up more shots in a game.
The Terps are led by Tewaaraton finalist Dana Dobbie, who has 56 goals and 16 assists along with 75 draw controls ... Draw controls have been key for Maryland, as they outdrew Yale 17-5 in the first round ... Krista Pellizzi leads the team with 76 points (55g, 21a) ... Every Maryland player who is not a defender has more than 30 points this year ... The Terps are an offensive-oriented team, averaging 36.9 shots and 14.63 goals per game but allowing 10.19 goals a game ... Penn and Maryland have had seven common opponents this season, and are both 6-1 against them. Both teams beat Yale, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Dartmouth Brown and Princeton but lost to Northwestern ... The two teams have not met since 1993 ... Maryland is 13-1 all-time against Penn ... The Terps are making their 22nd NCAA appearance ... All three of Maryland’s losses this season have come on the road.
DeLuca Named Ivy League Rookie of the Year
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 33 goals and eight assists en route to being unanimously named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. DeLuca broke the Penn freshman goals record of 31 set by all-time leading scorer Sherry Marcantonio in 1980 when she scored a pair against BU in the first round last Sunday.
Eight Earn All-Ivy Honors
Penn was well-represented on the 2007 All-Ivy teams, with eight of its 12 starters earning spots. Chrissy Muller, Hilary Renna and Sarah Waxman were unanimous first-team choices, while Ali DeLuca, Rachel Manson and Karen Jann earned second-team distinction. Honorable mentions went to Becca Edwards and Melissa Lehman. The eight players selected was the most for Penn since 1988.
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.
Ivies in The NCAA Field
The Ivy League sent three teams to this year’s NCAA field, but only Penn is left standing after the first round. Princeton lost, 19-10, to third-seeded Virginia, while Yale fell to Penn’s opponent this weekend, Maryland, 13-7.
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.
Penn has won its last 12 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 wins in a row set during Penn’s 1982 Ivy League championship campaign.
In the Rankings
Penn is ranked second in the nation in the most recent 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. Maryland, ranked fifth in both polls, will be the eighth ranked opponent for Penn this year; the Quakers are 6-1 against ranked opponents.
Moving On Up
A trio of Quakers are marking their spots in the program’s record book. Chrissy Muller has 70 career assists and is in second place all-time. Muller is also now third with 146 career points and seventh with 80 career goals . Meanwhile, junior Rachel Manson also has 80 career goals, and her 35 tallies this season are sixth-best in program history.
Penn’s defense has been a major component of its success this year. The Quakers backline, along with goalkeeper Sarah Waxman, has held opponents to just 6.25 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 eight times in 15 games. Twice the Quaker D has worked shutouts in the first half (at Harvard, 10-0, and at Brown, 3-0).
Waxman Among National Leaders
Goalie Sarah Waxman is second in the nation behind Northwestern’s Morgan Lathrop with a 6.09 goals-against average. Waxman is also sixth in the country in save percentage with a .538 mark.
Defending the Player of the Week
Just how good has the Penn defense been? It was 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. Hilary Renna and Sarah Waxman each earned the honor twice, while Becca Edwards won it on April 16.
All In the Family
There are a couple of Quakers with some interesting familial ties in this year’s NCAA tournament. Junior attacker Chelsea Kocis has a chance to be in the women’s final four, but her brother Scott also has that shot playing with Georgetown against Johns Hopkins in the men's quarterfinals. Meanwhile freshman Barb Seaman hasn’t been the only one in her family chasing a national title this year, either 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. Unfortunately, both teams suffered losses in the first round, with Towson falling to Cornell and Princeton losing in overtime to Georgetown.
Next Time Out
The winner of Penn/Maryland will face the winner of Northwestern/Syracuse in the first national semifinal on May 25 at 6 p.m. The game will be played at Franklin Field (see full tournament bracket on page 8).
Download: wlax notes maryland.pdf