PHILADELPHIA--After handily defeating Yale and Penn State, No. 8 Penn women's lacrosse will turn its efforts to another Ivy League opponent, Cornell. The Big Red have lost two straight road games, but are 4-2 (1-0 Ivy) on the season. Saturday’s game is set to begin at4 p.m.
Until this week, Cornell had an oppressive defense allowing 18 goals in four games (4.50 GAA), but since the team has given 15 to then-No. 10 Vanderbilt and 10 to New Hampshire (12.50 GAA).
Meanwhile the team's offense, led by Courtney Farrell with 14 goals and 12 assists and Noelle Dowd with 16 goals and three assists, has also let up in the most recent games. While producing double-digit goals in the first four games of the season, the Big Red could only muster six against Vandy and nine against UNH.
Still, Cornell does boast some impressive statistics. First, in goal, Renee Hughes holds a 6.83 goals-against average and a .508 save percentage. Two players have registered double-digits indraw controls and one has seven caused turnovers.
But speaking of oppressive defenses, Penn (4-1, 1-0 Ivy) has continued to frustrate its opponents. Against Yale, the Quakers allowed four in the first half and zero in the second. The Nittany Lions were only allowed two in the first 45 minutes of the game. On average, the Red and Blue offer teams a miniscule 6.67 goals per game.
In addition to the 2007 Goalkeeper of the Year, Sarah Waxman's steady presence in the cage (6.27 GAA), the Quakers have an arsenal of other defenders to thwart the opposition. All-American Hilary Renna has repeatedly shut down teams' top scorers while Tarah Kirnan has caused 13 turnovers and retrieved six groundballs.
The defense has allowed just one team to post double-digits (10 to Stanford), and it was the team’s only loss of the season.
Since that loss, the Quakers’ attack has picked up the pace, averaging 12 goals a game, improving on the 7.33 in the three games prior.
The Red and Blue offense is led by Melissa Lehman and Rachel Manson who both have 12 goals this season. Manson tied her career-high with five goals against Cal-Berkeley while Lehman has scored a hat trick in three games this season. Eight players have had multi-goal games and four other have scored in at least one game.
In addition to scored seven goals and contributing five assists, sophomore Ali DeLuca has dominated the draws, winning 18 this season. Against Stanford, DeLuca took control of seven while the whole of the Cardinal team picked up just six.