PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's head coach of women's lacrosse, Karin Brower, has announced her team's 2010 schedule, and once again the Quakers are taking the approach that in order to be the best, they need to play the best.
A quick glance at the campaign shows that Penn will play all three teams that joined the Quakers in Towson last Memorial Day Weekend for the NCAA's semifinal and final rounds -- Northwestern, North Carolina, and Maryland.
The 2010 season is also highlighted by the inaugural Ivy League Tournament, which will hold its semifinal games on Friday,April30and the final on Sunday, May 2. The regular-season champion will host the event, which will determine the Ivy League's automatic qualifier for the 16-team NCAA Championship field.
Overall, Penn is home for eight of its 15 regular-season games.
"We are excited for the 2010 season," said Brower, the 2008 IWLCA National Coach of the Year who enters her 11th season with the Quakers. "We have added some top teams to the schedule, and with the Ivy League Tournament rounding out our regular season it is sure to be challenging."
Penn will open the season with a pair of "road" games, although those roads don't take them out of the city -- the Quakers will play at Drexel (Feb. 27) and Temple (March 3). Following those contests, Penn hits the first of its Final Four triumvirate with a trip to Chapel Hill and a meeting with last year's national runner-up, UNC (March 6).
Penn returns home for its next three games, beginning with a midweek tilt against Hofstra (March 10). The Ivy League season arrives March 13 when Harvard comes to Franklin Field, and then the Quakers have a midweek game with another city foe, Saint Joseph's (March 17).
Penn will sandwich a pair of Ivy League road games -- Yale (March 20) and Cornell (March 28) -- around yet another midweek night game at Franklin Field, this time against Johns Hopkins (March 24).
The turn of the calendar to April brings another three-game homestand that begins with 2009 national semifinalist Maryland (April 2), an Ivy League game against Columbia (April 4), and then the highly touted matchup with the team that has eliminated Penn from the last three NCAA Championships, Northwestern (April 9). Both the Maryland and Northwestern games will be under the "Friday Night Lights" of Franklin Field, with 7 p.m. start times.
The final full week of action leaves no room for a letdown, as Penn closes out the regular season with three Ivy League games in eight days. The first comes at Dartmouth (April 17), the second one is at another NCAA team from a year ago, Princeton (April 21), and the campaign closes with a Franklin Field Sunday matinee against Brown (April 25).
Penn went 15-3 last year and advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAAs before losing to Northwestern in a sudden-victory overtime classic. It marked the third straight season the Quakers have been in the NCAA's final weekend (also a finalist in 2008 and a semifinalist in 2007); during the time they have compiled an overall record of 48-7.
In addition, the Quakers enter the 2010 season having won 22 Ivy League contests in a row, which ties the conference's longest streak in nearly 20 years -- Dartmouth won 22 straight from 1997 to 2000 before losing its 2001 Ivy League opener to Yale. The Ivy League record for consecutive wins is 36, set by Harvard from 1987 to 1993.PENN WOMEN'S LACROSSE 2010 SCHEDULE
Dates, times subject to change
Home games in ALL CAPS played at Franklin Field
* - Ivy League game
Day, Date ... Opponent
Saturday, Feb. 27 ... at Drexel,4 p.m.
Wednesdsay, March 3 ... at Temple, 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 6 ... at North Carolina, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 10 ... HOFSTRA, 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 13 ... HARVARD*, noon
Wednesday, March 17 ... SAINT JOSEPH'S, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 ... at Yale*, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24 ... JOHNS HOPKINS, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 28 ... at Cornell*, 1 p.m.
Friday, April 2 ... MARYLAND, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 4 ... COLUMBIA*, 1 p.m.
Friday, April 9 ... NORTHWESTERN, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 17 ... at Dartmouth*, noon
Wednesday, April 21 ... at Princeton*, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 25 ... BROWN*, 1 p.m.
Friday,April 30... Ivy League Tournament semifinals (site TBA)
Sunday, May2 ... Ivy League Tournament final (site TBA)