Women's Lacrosse at #6 Northwestern on Sunday

4.5.15 // 1 p.m. EST // Evanston, Ill
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PHILADELPHIA -
The University of Pennsylvania women's lacrosse team is back on the road this weekend for the middle portion of a three-game road trip as the Quakers head to Evanston, Ill. to take on the No. 6 Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST.

The Quakers (9-1, 3-0 Ivy) are set to compete with their second Top-10 opponent of the season -- the first being No. 1 Maryland which the Quakers fell to, 12-7. Overall this season, Penn is 4-1 on the road.

The Quakers and Wildcats have engaged in some thrilling encounters over the years, including an 11-7 win for the Quakers in 2008 which was the first in program history for the Quakers over the then three-time defending national champions.

Penn and Northwestern have met three times in the NCAA Tournament since 2007 -- each on the final weekend of the season. In 2007, the Wildcats defeated Penn in the Final Four at Franklin Field. The following season, the two teams met in the national championship game, a 10-6 win for Northwestern. In 2009, arguably the greatest of the 13 meetings between the two schools took place in the national semifinals -- Northwestern escaping with a 13-12 win in double overtime.

Last year, two tough defenses matched up at Franklin Field as Northwestern scored a 7-2 win. There were just 29 combined shots taken by the two teams during the game as offensive chances were hard to come by. Lucy Ferguson finished the game with nine saves for Penn while Bidget Blanco had eight stops for the Widcats.

The game with the Wildcats last season was the last time Tory Bensen did not record at least a point in a game for the Quakers. Since then, she has recorded 72 points in her last 19 games -- an average of 3.8 per game. She is currently eighth all-time at Penn with 137 career points, six away from tying Karen McFadden for seventh. Her 34 goals this season are already tied for 11th-best in a single season all-time by a Quaker. She is one away from cracking the top ten.

Lucy Ferguson moved into the No. 5 spot all-time in saves by a Penn goalkeeper on Wednesday at Columbia. She now has 322 saves over her career.

Northwestern's 7-3 overall record includes losses to No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 North Carolina and No. 8 Duke to go with wins over No. 5 Syracuse, No. 7 Virginia and No. 10 Louisville. The WIldcats have won four of their last five games, the only blemish a 16-5 defeat to Maryland.

Freshman Selena Lasota leads the Wildcats and ranks fourth in the nation in goals with 40. Her 4.0 goals-per-game ranks third in the country. Senior Kara Mupo is second on the team with 20 goals. Shelby Fredericks (28 and Sheila Nesselbush (32) give the Wildcats a 1-2 punch on the draw.

In goal, Blanco is back for Northwestern, posting a 9.97 GAA and a .425 save percentage through 10 games.

Penn Looks to End Skid Against Wildcats
The Quakers are 1-12 all-time against Northwestern, the lone win an 11-7 victory at Franklin Field on April 27, 2008. The Red and Blue are 0-5 all-time in Evanston and have lost the last eight meetings overall.

Quakers Search for Signature Win
Penn enters the game with a 9-1 record and the nation’s fifth-highest winning percentage at .900, but the Quakers are looking for that marquee win to add to their NCAA resume. A win over the sixth-ranekd Wildcats would be the highest-ranked team Penn has knocked off since defeating No. 4 Duke, 13-10, on April 29, 2011.

Red and Blue Boast Top-Tier Defense
As is customary in University City, the Penn defense has been staunch to start the season. The Quakers rank sixth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 6.40 goals-per-game. The Quakers have held opponents to seven goals or fewer in seven of ten contests this season.

One and Done
Twice this season -- against Saint Joseph’s and Columbia -- Penn has allowed only one goal. No other Ivy League team has accomplished that feat even once.

We’ll Take That...
With a team defense in the upper echelon, it is not surprising that Penn is also inside the top tier in caused turnovers, ranking No. 16 with 9.7 CTs per game. Meg Markham is second in the nation individually with 2.80 CTs per game. Three of the top-10 players in the Ivy League in caused turnover-per-game wear a Penn uniform -- Markham, Megan Kelly, and Lely DeSimone.

Quakers Improving on the Draw
Penn struggled last year on the draw, ranking 101st in the country with 7.94 draws-per-game. This season, Penn is averaging 10.60 draws-per-game.

Penn Finding the Back of the Net
Penn has been pushing the pace on offense this season, and finding the back of the net at a much-improved clip. The Quakers are averaging 11.40 goals-per-game, good for 40th in the nation. Last year, Penn averaged 8.78 goals-per-game which was No. 84 in Division I. Through 18 games in 2014, Penn scored 12 or more goals just twice. This season, Penn has scored 12 or more five times in 10 games.

Corcoran Can Do it All
Junior attacker Nina Corcoran is ninth in the country in assists-per-game with 2.10 and is 15th overall in assists with 21 helpers through 10 games. She is second on the Quakers in total points with 36, and her 3.60. points-per-game ranks 53rd in the nation.

Tory is Near the Top
Senior attacker Tory Bensen is ninth in the nation in goals-per-game with 3.40. Her 34 goals through ten games are the most by any Ivy League player and ranks 18th overall in the country.

Ferguson Finds High Rankings in Goalkeeper Stats
Senior keeper Lucy Ferguson ranks seventh in the country in goals-against average at 6.39. Her .529 save percentage is also good for fifth among all keeepers.

Quakers Dominate Second Half at Columbia
Goals were hard to come by in the first half at Columbia on Wednesday as Penn built just a 1-0 lead through 30 minutes. In the second half, the Quakers exploded for nine goals on their way to a 10-1 win -- improving to 19-0 all-time against Columbia. Tory Bensen and Iris Williamson had hat tricks for Penn, Nina Corcoran and Lely DeSimone each added two goals. Lucy Ferguson made six saves.

Penn Has Three Named Inside Lacrosse Mideseason All-American
Meg Markham was named Midseason first-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine on Thursday, one of three Quakers honored. Lucy Ferguson was second-team All-American and Tory Bensen was named to the Midseason third team. The three players listed were the most by an Ivy League program.

Markham One of 15 Player of the Year Candidates from Inside Lacrosse
Meg Markham was also recognized as one 15 likely candidates for Player of the Year by Inside Lacrosse, ranked No. 12 on their list. Lucy Ferguson was included in the “Also Receiving Consideration” group which featured the next ten players. They were the only two Ivy League players in the group of 25.

Trio of Hat Tricks Takes Down Towson
Three different Quakers -- Tory Bensen, Lely DeSimone, Iris Williamson -- had three goals as part of Penn’s 12-5 win over Towson. Williamson finished the game with five total points, tying her career high.

Lucy Ferguson Named Lacrosse Magazine Midseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Two standout performances pushed Lucy Ferguson to top honors among goalkeepers in Lacrosse Magazine’s midseason awards. She was also named midseason All-American by the magazine -- an honor she shared with teammate Meg Markham.

Quakers Dispatch Dartmouth, 10-5
Penn pulled away from the Big Green at Franklin Field, turning a 4-2 halftime lead into a 10-5 win. Lely DeSimone had three goals to lead the Quakers, adding two caused turnovers and three ground balls. Lucy Ferguson made eight saves in the game -- seven of which came in the second half.

Tory Bensen Added to Tewaaraton Watch List
After a strong start to the season, senior attacker Tory Bensen was added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. She joins teammates Lucy Ferguson and Meg Markham in contention for college lacrosse’s highest honor.

Terps Too Much for Quakers
Penn hung tight with No. 1 Maryland on Wednesday, ultimately falling to the Terps, 12-7. Tory Bensen had two goals and an assist while Nina Corcoran had two goals. Lucy Ferguson did her part to keep the Quakers in the game, making a career high 15 saves. Meg Markham had four caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Markham and Bensen Sweep Ivy Awards
For the first time since April of 2013, Penn won both the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of the Week and Defenseive Player of the Week awards. Tory Bensen secured her second consecutive Offensive Player of the Week Award with a second straight eight-goal week. Meg Markham had eight caused turnovers and six draw controls as Penn stifled two opponents. Markham also added ECAC Division I South Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Quakers Hound Hoyas
Penn scored the game’s first five goals against Georgetown, taking a commanding lead and never giving it back. Tory Bensen finished with five goals, while Iris Williamson had two goals and two assits as Penn defeated the Hoyas, 15-8. Meg Markham had five caused turnovers and five draw controls to lead the defense.

Defense Plays a Full Game’s Worth of Shutout D against Hoyas/SJU
Starting with the game against Saint Joseph’s, Penn played over a full game’s worth of shutout defense in two wins against Saint Joseph’s and Georgetown. Penn did not allow a goal over the final 50:07 of play against the Hawks before holding the Hoyas off the scoreboard for the game’s first 12:16 for a total of 62:23 of shutout play.

Bensen Scores 100th Career Goal vs. Saint Joseph’s
With her first goal of the game on Tuesday against the Hawks, Tory Bensen became the eighth player in program history to score her 100th career goal.

Quakers Cruise Past Saint Joseph’s, 13-1
Penn scored the final 12 goals of Tuesday’s game with Saint Joseph’s to down their Philly competitors, 13-1. Nina Corcoran had a career high seven points in the game on two goals and five assists.

Red and Blue are Better than Brown
In the opening game of the 2015 Ivy League season, Penn burst out to a 6-1 halftime lead at Brown, and denied the Bears a late comeback in a 9-7 win. Tory Bensen and Nina Corcoran each finished the game with three goals and an assist. Lucy Ferguson made 10 saves in the victory as the Quakers dealt Brown its first loss of the season.

Quakers Rush Past Rutgers
In their first-ever game against a Big Ten opponent, Penn took the pace of play right to Rutgers en route to a 17-7 win in New Jersey. The 17 goals scored were the most ever by a Penn team against Rutgers in 17 total meetings, led by a career-high five from Iris Williamson. Nina Corcoran had a career-high five assists, while Tory Bensen tied her career high with six points on five goals and an assist.

Nina Corcoran Named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week
Junior Nina Corcoran registered a career-high six points in Penn’s win over Vanderbilt, earning her first career Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week award. Corcoran tied her career high with four assists in the game.

Bensen Scores a Dandy Late to Vanquish Vandy
Senior Tory Bensen was quiet for most of Penn’s game against Vanderbilt, but came through late with the tying goal to send the game to overtime and then netting the game-winner with 0:04 to play in OT as Penn edged the Commodores, 12-11.

Quakers Derail Delaware’s Hot Start
Penn ventured south to Delaware for its first game of 2015 last weekend, taking on a Blue Hens team which was 2-0 and had scored 39 goals in two games to start the season. The Quakers neutralized the Delaware attack, and put the first loss of the season on the Blue Hens, 9-7.

Tory Bensen Brings The Offense to Blue Hens
Senior attacker Tory Bensen picked right up where she left off last season, tying her career high with six goals against Delaware.

Megan Kelly Named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week
Sophomore defender Megan Kelly made her first career appearance a memorable one as she recorded three caused turnovers and three ground balls in the win at Delaware. After missing all of 2014 with injury, Kelly’s remarkable debut earned her Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in the opening round of weekly awards.

Penn’s Starting Defense is “All-Ivy”
With Kelly earning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week last week, each of Penn’s four starting defenders as earned either Ivy Defensive Player of the Week or been named All-Ivy at some point during their careers. Meg Markham (Two-time All-Ivy, 2014 Ivy Defender of the Year, three-time Defender of the Week), Taylor Foussadier (Two-time All-Ivy), Lydia Miller (All-Ivy) and Kelly (POW) give Penn the League’s most recognized defense.

Markham Hits Century Mark “Daily Double”
Meg Markham has been causing havoc defensively for the Quakers the past three years, setting her up for a few career milestones this season. She recorded her 100th career ground ball against Vanderbilt and hit the centruy mark in draw controls against Rutgers.

Welcome Back…
The Red and Blue return 25 players from last year’s team, including 11 who started 12 or more games during the 2014 season.

Welcome Back (Part II) …
Among the 25 returning players is a quartet of “Fifth-Year Seniors” who were injured at some point during their careers and earned a medical hardship. Tory Bensen, Shannon Mangini, Lydia Miller and Lindsey Smith all will finish their careers this season for the Quakers.

Defense Looks to Dominate Again
The Quakers return four players who appeared in 15 or more games on defense last season as the Red and Blue finished seventh in the country in scoring defense at 7.78 goals allowed-per-game. Reigning Ivy League Defender of the Year and first-team All-American Meg Markham leads the group, coming off a 2014 campaign where she led the Ivy League in caused turnovers with 43 and averaged 2.39 CTs per game which ranked fifth nationally.

Ferguson Returns to the Cage
Senior goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson is back between the pipes for the Quakers in 2015, coming off a second consecutive first-team All-Ivy season which saw her lead the Ancient Eight in GAA (7.70) and finish second in save percentage at .463. Those numbers ranked her seventh and 16th in the nation in those respective categories.

Wealth of Offense Returns
You’d be hard pressed to find a team in the country which returns as much of its scoring output from 2014 as the Quakers do this season. Last year, Penn scored 158 goals. The players returning to the lineup from last season add up to 155 of those goals – or a whopping 98.1 percent.

Another Chance at the Champs
With Penn’s game at Maryland on March 18, the Quakers will take on the defending national champions for the ninth consecutive season. Add in regular-season foe Princeton, and the Quakers have taken on the reigning champs in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

Atop the Ancient Eight
Penn is 56-3 in regular season Ivy League games dating back to the 2007 season. That equates to a .949 winning percentage in conference games. Outside of Princeton (6-2) and Dartmouth (8-1), the Quakers are a perfect 8-0 against every other Ivy team in regular season action since their title run began.

Penn is Climbing Ivy Title Charts
Penn is tied with Princeton for third-most Ivy League titles with ten overall. Harvard is first with 12, while Dartmouth is second with 11.

Quakers Proficient at “Hanging Ten”
The Quakers have won 10 games in a season in nine of the last 10 seasons after going 23 years without a 10-win season.

All-Time in the Ivy League
This year marks the 36th year of Ivy League women’s lacrosse. The Red and Blue are 166-97-2 all-time in Ivy League contests.

#FightOnPenn