Penn women seek berth in Final Four

Posted: May 18, 2007

With a win tomorrow in the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse tournament, Penn can secure a berth in the semifinals - and earn another home game.

The Quakers, who are making their first appearance in the tournament in 23 years, will meet Maryland, with a trip to next Friday's Final Four at stake. Like the Penn-Maryland game, the national semifinals and championship will be decided at Franklin Field.

The winner of tomorrow's 1 p.m. game between the Quakers (15-1) and the Terrapins (16-3) will play the survivor of the quarterfinal that has Syracuse (13-5) visiting two-time defending champion Northwestern (18-1) - the only team to have beaten Penn this year.

On the other side of the bracket, Johns Hopkins (12-7) travels to Duke (15-3), and Virginia (17-3) hosts North Carolina (16-4).

The title game is set for May 27.

Penn, the Ivy League champion, advanced with an 11-5 victory over Boston University on Sunday at Rhodes Field. The Quakers used that venue because graduation ceremonies were slated for Franklin Field the next day, but they will be on their real home turf for as long as they stay alive.

"It was definitely exciting," Penn coach Karin Brower said after the BU game. "It was the first time for all of us - coach, too - and we came out strong and wanted to win. We wanted to win and get back to Franklin Field, and we did that, and we're excited. We want to play an [Atlantic Coast Conference] team. The ACC is a fantastic conference."

Penn's triumph over BU was its 12th consecutive victory, a school record that wiped out the previous mark of nine in 1982. The Quakers went undefeated in the Ivy League for the first time.

In Maryland, which is coached by Cathy Reese, Penn has an opponent that holds a 13-1 lead in the all-time series between the teams. They haven't faced off since 1993, when visiting Maryland came away with a 15-6 decision.

The Terrapins, who beat visiting Yale, 13-7, to advance to the game against Penn, are making their 18th straight appearance in the NCAAs. Maryland has dropped two of its last five games after coming out on top in eight straight.

The Terps' Krista Pellizzi (55 goals) scored five times to lead her team over Yale.

Against Boston University, Penn got a hat trick from Rachel Manson (35 goals).

The Quakers' defense has shown up regularly this season. The Terrapins are second in the nation with 6.25 goals allowed per game.

"At this point, we refuse to lose," Manson said. "We take it one game at a time, but we're determined to come out as a winning team. Losing isn't in our mind-set."


Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|