PHILADELPHIA – It’s Penn vs. Princeton in women’s lacrosse with first place on the line.
Do we need to go any further?
Okay, let’s delve into this perennially juicy matchup.
It’s rare that the Quakers enter this matchup in third place in the Ivy League, but the scheduling logistics and a loss to Dartmouth early in League play have the Quakers undertaking a climb to regain top footing in the Ivy League. Since that loss to the Big Green, the Red and Blue are 3-0 – including a win over a Harvard team which was ahead of them in the standings at the time. With Saturday’s victory over the Crimson, Penn is now 3-1 in the Ivy League with three Ancient Eight games remaining.
The mission for the Quakers is clear. Win those three games and add a ninth Ivy League championship in the past 10 seasons, securing home field for the Ivy League Tournament in the process.
Princeton is the first team to stand in the way, and sits at 9-3 overall and a perfect 4-0 in Ivy League play. For each of the past 10 seasons, Penn or Princeton have earned at least a share of the Ivy title. Penn has claimed six outright championships and shared two more, the Tigers have twice split the championship before winning the crown outright last season.
Last year, Penn dropped both games to the Tigers, falling at Franklin Field in the regular season, 9-7, before suffering a 14-11 defeat in the Ivy League Tournament championship game. There’s no doubt that the Red and Blue would like nothing more than to flip the script in 2016.
Two of the Ivy League’s most prolific scorers will lead their attacks on Wednesday night. Nina Corcoran leads all players with 55 points, while Princeton’s Olivia Hompe is third in the League with 43. In five career games against the Tigers, Corcoran has 10 points – five goals and five assists – including a two-goal, three-assist performance last year in the ILT title tilt.
The Ivy League’s reigning Players of the Week will also be meeting up on Wednesday night. Alex Condon earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week with three goals, two ground balls and a caused turnover. Her next target will be Princeton goalkeeper Ellie DeGarmo. She had 16 saves last weekend in Princeton’s win over Cornell, part of a 29-save week.
Notes to Know …The all-time series between the two teams stands at 23-20-3 in favor of Princeton.
Since 2007, Penn has the edge in the series, 8-5, rallying after Princeton had won 18 of 19 between 1994-2006.
In Princeton, Penn is 7-12 all-time, but 4-2 since 2008.
Of the last seven meetings, two have gone to overtime and another three have been decided by three goals or less.
Prior to the 14-11 Princeton win in the Ivy League Tournament championship game last May, the previous three meetings saw neither team reach double figures in goals.
Previewing Princeton …
Princeton is 9-3 on the season and sits atop the Ivy League standings with a 4-0 record after topping Cornell 8-7 on Saturday afternoon. All three of Princeton’s losses have been to teams in the Top 10 this season, vs. No. 1 Maryland (15-6), No. 6 Notre Dame (16-11) and No. 8 Penn State (14-10). The Tigers average 10.25 goals per game and hold teams to 8.75 gpg. Junior Olivia Hompe sits atop the scoring column with 43 points on 34 goals and nine assists. Sophomores Abby Finkelston and Ellie McNulty follow with 20 and 19 points. Sophomore Colby Chanenchuk has a team-high 15 assists and has scored three times. Seniors Anya Gersoff and Stephanie Paloscio chip in 17 and 16 points. Defender Liz Bannantine and Amanda Leavell each have 17 caused turnovers apiece while fellow defender Madeline Rodriguez has won the most draws with 18. McNulty follows with 16. After goalie Ellie DeGarmo’s 23 ground balls its Leavell second on the list, cleaning up 21 loose balls. DeGarmo has the best save percentage in the country at .561 and has an 8.82 goals against average, owning all 12 decisions. She was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week this week, her third honor of the season.
Corcoran Ascending Assist Charts …
Nina Corcoran is one of the nation’s leading playmakers, ranking fifth among active players with 106. Corcoran’s 37 assists this season are No. 1 in the Ivy League and fifth in the county. Her 3.08 assists-per-game in 2016 are also No. 1 in the Ivy League and lead all Division I players.
Nina’s Numbers are No. 1 …
In terms of points, Nina Corcoran is No. 1 in the Ivy League and No. 21 in the country with 55 points through 12 games. Her 4.58 points-per-game are first in the Ivy League and s10th in the country.
Corcoran Closing in on All-Time Record …
One of the most prolific playmakers in Penn history, Nina Corcoran is closing in on the program’s all-time assists record. Against Northwestern on April 3, she dished out four assists to become the second player in program history to reach 100 career assists. She followed that up with four more against Columbia on April 9 and is two away from tying Sherry Marcantonio ’83 for the all-time record of 108. Corcoran’s 174 career points are fourth-most all-time by a Quaker.
She is just the fifth Ivy League all-time to reach the 100-assist mark, and the second since 1987.
Corcoran’s 37 assists in 2016 are second-most in a single-season by a Quaker, trailing the 40 she tallied last season.
Britt Brown Backstopping Defense …
Goalkeeper Britt Brown is second among Ivy League goalkeepers with a 7.38 GAA. Her .507 save percentage is second among Ivy keepers. Among goalkeepers nationally, she ranks No. 12 in GAA and No. 9 in save percentage.
Williamson Joins 100-Point Club …
With an assist at Dartmouth on March 27, Iris Williamson became the 23rd player in Penn program history to reach the 100 point mark for her career. Of those 23 players, 14 have reached that mark under head coach Karin Corbett. Williamson is now up to 110 career points, 17th all-time at Penn.
Penn Prides Itself on Possession …
The Quakers have not been kind to opponents this season, refusing to give up possession without a fight. Penn is No. 4 in the county and tops in the Ivy League in turnovers-per-game, committing just 11.08 per outing.
Condon Earns Ivy League Weekly Award
Three goals, two ground balls, and a caused turnover were enough to garnr Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors for Alex Condon after she helped Penn to an 8-7 win over Harvard on April 16. The weekly award was the first of her career.
Quakers Hold Off Harvard, 8-7
Penn built a lead off a four-goal run in the first half, and held on as Harvard looked to rally in a 8-7 game at Franklin Field. Alex Condon had three goals, and Britt Brown made seven saves as the Quakers capped their 2016 home slate with three consecutive wins.