No. 5 Women's Lax Hosts Saint Joseph's Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA - The fifth-ranked Penn women's lacrosse team opens a new Philadelphia rivalry on Wednesday at 7 p.m., welcoming Saint Joseph's to Franklin Field for the first matchup between the two schools which both call Philly home.

The Quakers are 2-0 against Philly teams in 2010, with wins at Drexel and Temple to begin the season. All-time, Penn is 31-25-1 in games against school's located in the City of Brotherly Love.

Penn slipped to No. 5 in the national rankings this week despite a 2-0 record for the week as Duke climbed from No. 6 to No. 3 with two wins over nationally-ranked opponents. The Quakers still hold onto a streak of 14-straight weeks in the IWLCA's top five.

After scoring just six goals in back-to-back games at No. 4 North Carolina and against Hofstra, the Quakers exploded for 16 goals on Saturday despite sloppy conditions at home against Harvard. The Red and Blue boast a balanced attack, with six players with at least a half dozen goals this season. Ali DeLuca is at the top of the goals list with 15, but Penn's ability to work multiple players into offensive sets has the potential to keep opposing defenses on their heels.

With so many players finding the back of the cage, it follows that the Quakers rely on deft passing. Courtney Lubbe leads Penn with 10 assists, and three other players have registered at least five helpers.

The firepower on attack stands up because Penn is playing its usual solid defense. Goalkeeper Emily Szelest, the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week, ranks fifth in the country in goals-against average with a 6.44 mark. As a team, Penn ranks tied for seventh in the country in scoring defense, allowing 6.40 goals a game. Giulia Giordano has 10 ground balls and seven caused turnovers to aide the defense while Barb Seaman has six of each. Kaileigh Wright also has corralled six ground balls to go with four draw controls.

On the Ali DeLuca milestone watch, she currently is tied with Rachel Manson (2005-08) on Penn's all-time points list with 157. In addition, DeLuca trails Manson for second on Penn's all-time goal list by one goal. DeLuca has 115 entering Wednesday's game to Manson's 116.

The Hawks enter the game with a 2-5 record and have dropped four in a row. The two sides have a common opponent in fellow Philly rival Drexel. Penn downed the Dragons 14-7 while Saint Joseph's came out on the losing end of an 8-2 decision. Saint Joe's advanced to the 2009 Atlantic 10 final, losing to Massachusetts, 15-14, in overtime. Despite just nine points over seven games, Jenna Martino remains the player to watch for the Hawks. A two-time All-Atlantic 10 performer, Martino entered the season with 166 career points including 133 goals - both ranking second all-time in SJU history. Sophomore Grace Dinn leads the Hawks with 15 goals and two assists, already surpassing her 12 points from her rookie season. Fellow second-year player Jen Peters ranks second on the team with 11 goals. Four different players have 15 ground balls while Peters (15) and Martino (14) are factors on draw controls. Alisha Aquilino has taken over the goalkeeper spot from departed A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Suzy Herlihy and is 2-3 with a 7.00 GAA.