Game Will Be Streamed Live on PennAthletics.com
PHILADELPHIA - With the recent success of the Penn women's lacrosse team - four Ivy League championships and three Final Four appearances - it is not often a new challenge comes across Penn's radar. However, this weekend, the Quakers will attempt to do something they haven't done during their three previous runs to the national semifinals - win a quarterfinal game on the road. The Red and Blue head to College Park, Md. on Saturday to take on national No. 1 seed Maryland at noon at Ludwig Field.
The new challenge hasn'tpresented itselfbecause the Quakers have had difficulty winning on the road in the quarterfinals the last three years, rather Penn has simply entered the tournament seeded no lower than fourth each of the past three seasons and earned the right to host the quarterfinal games.
This year, seeded eighth despite a 14-3 regular season that saw losses only to the teams seeded 1-3 in the NCAA Tournament, Penn will take to the road in search of a fourth-consecutive Final Four berth.
The Quakers advanced to the second round with a 14-9 win over unseeded Boston University last weekend. Penn stormed out to an 11-3 halftime lead to seize control of the contest and held on thanks to the absolutely stellar goaltending of senior Emily Szelest. The keeper made a career-high 18 saves in the win, coming up with nine stops in each half against a potent B.U. attack. The Terriers entered the game with a dynamic duo of McKinley Curro and Tracy Landi which had 98 goals between them in 2010. At the end of the game, the pair accounted for four of B.U.'s goals despite 24 combined shots sent Szelest's way.
The Terps had no trouble with Marist in the opening round, advancing with a 20-5 win. The Terps are 19-1 in 2010 and looking to advance to a second straight Final Four.
Earlier in the season, Penn hosted Maryland at Franklin Field with the Terps taking a 12-6 victory back to Maryland. The game was close early as the two teams traded goals to the tune of a 3-3 tie 25 minutes into the game. However, the Terps seized control with a 4-0 run spanning 10:20 finishing the first half and beginning the second. Draw controls were Penn's downfall, as the Quakers came up with only one draw out of ten in the middle third of the game, allowing Maryland to work its offense and pull away for a 10-5 lead that the Quakers could not overcome.
Karri Ellen Johnson led the Terps in the win in Philly, scoring four goals and securing five of those all-important draws. Kristy Black added three goals while Caitlyn McFadden and Sarah Mollison each had two goals and an assist.
Johnson is far and away the offensive leader for Maryland with 60 goals and 76 total points. McFadden is more balanced in her offense, scoring 39 goals and dishing out 31 helpers. Mollison is right there as well with 35 scores and 62 total points.
The marquee matchup will be between the two senior midfielders who are up for the nation's top lacrosse honor - Penn's Ali DeLuca and Maryland's McFadden. The two Tewaaraton Trophy finalists will have a chance to state their case for the award against each other with a spot in the national semifinals on the line. While the two may not mark each other defensively depending on how the coaches divide the matchups, they are the catalysts of each side's offenses. DeLuca matches McFadden's 70 points this season, scoring a team-high 45 goals and adding 25 assists. Two points on Saturday will tie DeLuca for the most in a single-season by any Penn player - a record that has stood since 1981 when Sherry Marcantonio set the bar.
A win will give Penn's its fourth-consecutive national semifinal appearance - a mark that can only be matched among active teams by Northwestern if the Wildcats advance this week. For Penn's senior class of 2010, a victory over the Terps will recreate the road they first travelled to the Final Four in 2007 when the Quakers defeated B.U. in the first round before moving past Maryland at Franklin Field in the quarterfinals.
While the location of the game may have changed since '07, the stakes are the same. For the Quakers, they hope the result is as well.
Game Notes...This is the 17th all-time matchup between Penn and Maryland. The Terrapins hold a 14-2 advantage in the series. Maryland has the advantage all-time between the two schools, but the bulk of those meetings came before many of today's players even picked up a stick. Of the 16 total games between Penn and Maryland, 14 came between 1980 and 1993. The Terps dominated that span with a 13-1 record. In 2007, Penn downed Maryland, 9-7, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Franklin Field en route to the program's first Final Four. The Quakers rallied from a 5-3 halftime deficit to advance to the national semifinals. Only two players currently wearing a Penn uniform played in that game - Ali DeLuca and Emma Spiro. Two Terps also return to from that game - Caitlyn McFadden and Karissa Taylor. While Penn's overall record against school's which call the ACC home stands at 7-18, much of that mark comes from games against Maryland. Besides the Terps, Penn is 5-4 against ACC schools BC, Duke and North Carolina.
Penn vs. Maryland Since '07While the bulk of Penn and Maryland's match-ups have come before the 2000s, the two since 2007 have been lively affairs. The two sides have split the last two meetings - a 9-7 Penn win in the 2007 NCAA Quarters and a 12-6 Maryland win six weeks ago.
Penn 9, Maryland 7 - 5/19/07In 2007, #4 Penn hosted the #5 Terps in Philly in a NCAA quarterfinal. The Quakers were looking to advance to their first-ever Final Four while Maryland was continuing its run of national prominence. Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 in the first 11 minutes of the game, but by halftime the Quakers had cut the lead to 5-3. In the second half, Penn put together a 5-0 run over the first 15:43 to claim an 8-5 lead before holding on for a 9-7 win. Ali DeLuca is the only player on the current edition of the Quakers who recorded a point in that game, scoring the ninth goal to provide the Red and Blue with some insurance. However, current Penn assistant coach Melissa Lehman had two goals in the win. Senior Emma Spiro saw time off the bench for Penn, picking up one draw control. The Terps have added many new weapons to their lineup since that game in 2007. Only Caitlyn McFadden (one assist) and Karissa Taylor (one draw control) saw time in '07 during Maryland's loss.
Maryland 12, Penn 6 - 4/2/10The first regular season meeting in the 2000s between the two schools came in early April under the lights at Franklin Field. A back and forth game for the first 25 minutes turned on a 4-0 Maryland run over the final 4:40 of the first half and the first 5:40 of the second half en route to a 12-6 Terps win. Emma Spiro, Giulia Giordano and Caroline Bunting scored in the first half for Penn as the game sat tied at 3-3 with 5:11 to go in the first. However, the Terps scored four in a row to blow things open. Karri Ellen Johnson was the key player for the Terps, scoring four goals and picking up five draw controls. Kristy Black added three goals while Caitlyn McFadden and Sarah Mollison each had two goals and an assist. Draw controls were the focal point as Maryland held a 14-6 advantage on draws. In the middle stretch of the game, Maryland won nine of ten while rushing out to a 10-5 lead.
Last Time Out ...The Quakers, seeded eighth in the 2010 NCAA Championships, played unseeded Boston University at Immaculata's Draper Walsh Stadium in a NCAA First Round Game. The Red and Blue knocked out the Terriers with a 14-9 win. Emily Szelest was a standout in goal, making a career-high 18 saves in the win. Her previous career high was 12 against Stanford (5/2/09). She made nine saves in each half and stoned the Terriers on four of six free position attempts. Szelest's 18 saves are tied for seventh-most in a first round or quarterfinal game in NCAA Tournament history and the most since Holy Cross' Megan Orr had 20 in a 19-7 loss to Northwestern in 2007. It was the 26th-best performance by a goalkeeper in any NCAA Tournament game - and only the seventh time a keeper had 18 or more saves in a win. Penn was dominant in the first half, taking an 11-3 lead into the break. Ali DeLuca had four goals in the opening 30 minutes while Giulia Giordano had three. Emma Spiro added a pair. In the second half, B.U. went on a 4-1 run to open the period, closing to within 12-7. However, Erin Brennan and DeLuca scored within 1:17 in the final 5:54 to give Penn breathing room. Szelest's best work was left for B.U.s dynamic duo of McKinley Curro and Traci Landy. The pair entered the game with 98 goals in 2010, but managed just four on 24 shots sent Szelest's way. The win marked the third time in four years that Penn ended Boston University's season in the NCAA Tournament. In 2008, Penn downed B.U. by an 8-5 score in the Quarterfinals. In '07, the Quakers beat the Terriers 11-5 in the first round.
Penn in the NCAAs ...2010 marks Penn's sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament, tied for 18th-most by any school. The senior class of 2010 has made four of those trips. Penn's four trips to the NCAA Tournament over the past four seasons joins them with eight other schools to participate in the last four NCAA Tournaments. Only two schools have advanced to the past three Final Fours - Penn and five-time defending national champion Northwestern. Overall, Penn is 9-5 in the NCAA Tournament. The Quakers' winning percentage of .643 in NCAA Tournament games ranks fifth.
Karin Brower Corbett at the NCAAs ...Head coach Karin Brower Corbett is 8-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Her eight wins already rank her 11th all-time in wins by a head coach at the NCAA Tournament. Corbett's win percentage of .727 is fourth on the all-time list and second among coaches still active in the 2010 NCAA Tournament (Kelly Amonte Hiller - Northwestern, .955). Today's game will be Corbett's 12th in the NCAA Tournament and will move her into a tie for 13th-most games coached in the NCAA Tournament.