Women's Lacrosse to Take on Dartmouth in Ivy Final

PHILADELPHIA - There is much on the line Sunday at Franklin Field, most importantly the Ivy League's automatic berth to the 2010 NCAA Championships. To do so, Penn will need to make history as the first-ever Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament champions. A win over Dartmouth secures Penn's fourth-consecutive NCAA Championships appearance, and sends Penn on a course to its fourth Final Four in a row. First draw is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

This is the 31st all-time meeting between Penn and Dartmouth - and second in 2010. The Quakers are 11-20 all-time against the Big Green, but have won four in a row by a combined score of 37-25.

Defense is normally the name of the game when Penn and Dartmouth meet. If you throw out 2007's 13-8 Penn win, the Quakers have scored just 24 goals in the last three games while the Big Green have just 17.

On April 17, Penn headed to Hanover and defeated Dartmouth, 9-6, in a game between two teams both undefeated in Ivy League play at that time. The win gave the Quakers home field advantage in the Ivy League Tournament, ensuring that today's game was at the friendly confines of Franklin Field.

Three players had two-goals and an assist in Penn's win in New Hampshire - Giulia Giordano, Courtney Lubbe and Emma Spiro. They helped Penn erase an early lead and storm back after Dartmouth took a 4-3 lead early in the second half. The Red and Blue finally put the game away late when Giordano and Lubbe each scored their second of the day to give Penn an 8-5 lead.

The Quakers advanced to the final with a 13-9 win over Princeton on Friday night. Ali DeLuca had four goals and four assists in the win while Erin Brennan had four goals. The Quakers went 22 minutes without a goal to start the game, but did not let Princeton get away with the game. Once Brennan scored with under eight to play, Penn scored 13 goals over the final 37 minutes to advance.

Dartmouth had tough game against Cornell in the opener, finally dispatching the Big Red, 10-8. Kristen Goldberg had three goals for Dartmouth in the win. Greta Meyer, Sarah Parks and Sarah Plumb each added two. Julie Wadland had six saves in the win. Shannie MacKenzie had three caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Notes Heading Into Sunday's Game:

Penn vs. Dartmouth

In 31 meetings, Penn is just 11-20-1 against Dartmouth. However, Penn has won four in a row from 2007-10. Defense normally is the name of the game when Penn and Dartmouth take the field. Outside of a 13-8 Penn win in 2007, the last three games have seen neither team reach double digits in goals. Over the last three meetings, Penn has scored 24 goals with games of six, seven and eight. Dartmouth has only found the back of the cage 17 times over the past three games, with games of five, six and six. Ali DeLuca has five goals and two assists in four career games against Dartmouth, including a hat trick in 2007.

Last Time Out Against Dartmouth

On April 17, Penn traveled to Hanover to take on Dartmouth in what was then a battle of Ivy unbeatens. The Quakers returned home with a 9-6 win. Six different players scored for Penn in the win, including three who had two goals in the contest. Emma Spiro, Giulia Giordano and Courtney Lubbe each had a pair of goals in the win. Spiro was constantly in on the action, taking seven shots. The Quakers had a 27-14 advantage in shots in the game, with three players ( DeLuca, Giordano and Spiro) taking at least five shots. Spiro, Giordano and Lubbe each led the Quakers with three points. The game was one of runs, with three different three-goal spurts. Penn had two of them - one to close out the first half and a second over 3:29 in the second half to erase Dartmouth's run which gave the Big Green a 4-3 lead. The Quakers did not clinch the win until Giordano and Lubbe scored back-to-back goals to spread Penn's lead to 8-5.

Statistically Speaking ...

Penn enters the tournament with the best scoring defense in the NCAA. The Quakers are allowing an average of 6.47 goals-per-game, ahead of second-best Maryland (6.88). Emily Szelest, the defending GAA champion in the NCAA from 2009, is the backbone of that defense as she patrols the cage. She is once again at the top of the NCAA's goals-against average list with a 6.74 GAA. In Ivy League games, DeLuca is the league leader in points-per-game (4.57) and assists per-game (2.29). Brennan is third in PPG with 3.71. Giulia Giordano has the most game-winning goals in Ivy games among any Ivy player with three. She has six total game-winners in 2010. Not surprisingly, the four best goalies in terms of GAA in Ivy games are in Philly this weekend for the Ivy Tournament. Szelest is atop that list, with a 5.90 GAA in seven Ivy contests.