PHILADELPHIA - The last time the No. 14Penn women's lacrosse team found itself with a 7-1 record, Jimmy Carter was still President, the United States ice hockey team had just beaten the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice," and not a single member of the 2007 Penn team had been born yet.
So you can forgive the team for being a little excited as it equaled the best start in program history with its 12-4win over No. 12 Johns Hopkins Wednesday night. The 1980 team started 7-1-1 en route to the program's first Ivy League title and a third-place finish in the AIAW tournament, the precursor to the NCAA championship.
The Quakers will try to move to 8-1 and 3-0 in the League as theyreturn to Ivy play Saturday night with a visit to Columbia. The 7 p.m. game at Wien Stadium will be the second in Penn's four-game road swing that will also take the team to Penn State on Tuesday and Harvard next weekend.
Penn relied on a dominating defense in its win over Hopkins, racing out to an 11-1 lead and denying the Blue Jays' Mary Key, the nation's leading scorer, at every opportunity. Key, who was averaging 7.88 points per game, was held to just a goal and two assists thanks to tight marking by sophomore Hilary Renna and some creative double-teams.
Meanwhile, junior goalkeeper Sarah Waxman played well between the pipes, making 10 saves while allowing only four goals.
The Quakers' offense was no less impressive,and it came from a diverse selection of scorers. Sophomore Chelsea Kocis got the start and notched her first career hat trick, whilefreshmen Emma Spiro and Ali DeLuca each scored a pair, as did sophomore Becca Edwards.
Columbia, while having a 3-5 record, is a much improved team this year. The Lions have lost four in a row but are coming off an impressive showing in a 13-12 defeat to Oregon. Columbia had the opportunity in the final minute to tie the game, but the Ducks' defense held on for the win.Sophomore Rachael Ryan has had a breakout season so far and leads the team with 22 goals.
The Lions arein the midst of a five-game homestand and will be playing their only home night game of the season Saturday.