PHILADELPHIA - For the first time since April 22, 2006 the Penn women's lacrosse team will be looking to bounce back after a loss to an Ivy League team when the Quakers take on Brown in Rhode Island on Saturday at noon.
No. 8 Penn, coming off an 11-7 loss to No. 15 Princeton on Wednesday, was last in a similar situation five years ago against the Bears, defeating Brown, 15-6, after a loss at Princeton three days prior.
The Red and Blue have no time to linger on the tough result against the Tigers, as the Quakers still sit alone in first place with a 5-1 record in the Ivy League and a win on Saturday can clinch a share of a fifth-consecutive Ivy League title. Only one other school has had as many as five Ivy titles in a row, with Harvard twice doing so (1981-85 and 1987-1993).
In addition, with Princeton and Dartmouth meeting in Hanover, the Quakers may have a better idea of where they will play the Ivy League Tournament May 6-8. The whole situation is still up in the air with a possibility that three teams could finish with identical 6-1 records, but a win over Brown keeps Penn's hopes of hosting the tournament alive. The Quakers hold head-to-head tiebreakers over Harvard and Dartmouth via wins over the two schools, but would lose out to Princeton if tied with the Tigers.
In order to make it to 6-1, the Quakers are going to need to shut down the Ivy League's highest-scoring offense in terms of total goals. Brown has scored 158 goals in 13 games this season, averaging a second-best 12.15 goals-per-game. Twice this season Brown has scored over 20 goals, netting 21 in the season-opener at Sacred Heart and exploding for 26 goals on Tuesday against St. Mary's (Calif.) in a 26-6 win.
Four different players scored four-plus goals for Brown in the game, led by freshman Bre Hudgins who scored six. Kaela McGiloway had nine total points in the game, scoring five goals and adding four assists. Paris Waterman was right behind with five goals and three assists.
Penn's second-ranked Ivy defense is capable of slowing down a potent attack, limiting teams to just 8.15 goals-per-game this season and 106 total goals. Only three times in 13 games has a team scored in double figures against Penn, and the Red and Blue have held teams to six or fewer goals on six occasions.
Penn is 23-9 against Brown all-time, and has won seven in a row in the series. Last year, the Quakers secured a fourth-consecutive Ivy championship with a 19-5 win at Franklin Field. Ali DeLuca had nine points in the game, with three goals and six assists. Giulia Giordano had three goals and an assist while Maddie Poplawski had two goals.
Giordano has excelled against Brown in her career, scoring seven goals and adding an assist. In two career games against the Bears, Erin Brennan has three goals and three assists. She will be looking to get back on the scoring sheet after being held without a point against Princeton on Wednesday - just the second game in her career where she did not register at least one point.