PHILADELPHIA, April 29, 2011 – The Women’s Lacrosse from the University of Pennsylvania got the top seed in the upcoming Ivy League Tournament. The Red and Blue prepared in their season finale by playing the #4 Duke Blue Devils. Not only did the #10 Quakers accept the challenge, they beat Duke 13 – 10 in a match played at Drexel University’s Vidas Field. Beating the fourth-ranked Blue Devils should give the team a lift going into the Ivy Playoffs.
“It helps our confidence for the Ivy League Tournament,” said Sophomore Midfielder Meredith Cain who was one of three Quakers to score 3 goals in the game. “We needed that. We’re ready for Princeton. We talked about how we needed to be tough in this game. We pulled through and we did that.”
“My kids came to play, came to win, and they weren’t scared,” said Penn Coach Karin Brower Corbett about her team’s effort. “When they made a mistake, they fought. I am really proud of them.”
The teams traded goals in the first half. The score was tied at 5 – 5 with Duke getting three goals from Attack Emma Hamm. Penn responded by scoring four of the next five goals to take a 9 – 6 lead. The Quaker goals were scored by Cain, Freshman Midfielder Lindsey Smith, Sophomore Attack Caroline Bunting, and Junior Attack Tory Bensen. Duke got the last goal of the half by Midfielder Kim Wenger.
The Red and Blue took command scoring the first three goals of the second half. Cain found the net at the 27:22 mark, then Senior Attack Bridget Waclawik got consecutive goals with 25:21 on the clock. The second goal came 49 seconds later putting Penn ahead 12 – 7. The offense was gelling for the Quakers.
“We all worked well together,” said Cain. “We saw each other’s cuts, and were feeding real well. It was a great attack.”
Penn got only one more goal in the game, but defensively they clamped down on the Duke offense. Penn turned the game over to their defense, and Junior Goal Keeper Emily Leitner who came up with numerous second half saves to keep the lead.
“In the first half she (Leitner) saw shots from players who were wide open,” said Brower Corbett about the Goal Keeper’s performance. “As soon as she got the first save in the second half it sparked her a little bit, and relaxed her.”
Turnovers in the form of unforced errors have plagued Penn this season. In this game Penn committed 13 turnover, but Duke had 15. Penn may have committed turnovers, but got back and forced Duke into making miscues getting 9 Caused Turnovers. It was best exemplified when Duke took possession off a turnover. The Blue Devils attempted a long-pass fast break. The pass with intercepted by Penn Senior Attack Giulia Giordano. The Senior from Moorestown, NJ caused 4 turnovers, and Waclawik caused three.
“What I saw was that we fought and didn’t let it get them down,” said Brower Corbett about errors. “They came up with turnovers on their own which always helps.”
Hamm led all scorers with 4 goals giving her 45 for the season, and she added an assist. Duke got two goals and an assist from Wenger, and three goals from Midfielder Sarah Bullard. Hamm scored three of her four goals in the first half, and did not find the net again until 5:08 remained in the game. Brower Corbett credited the defensive effort of Giordano on Hamm in the second half.
“Giulia was on her, and she is the best defending against the cut,” said Brower Corbett. “She figured out what Hamm was trying to do, and did a nice job.”
In addition to Cain Penn got a three goal game from Waclawik and Bunting. Cain and Waclawik added an assist each. Bensen scored two goals and assisted on one. Junior Attack Erin Brennan assisted on three goals. Cain put six shots on goal and won five Draw-Controls.
Penn improves to 11 – 4 on the season, 6 – 1 in the Ivy League. Duke is 13 – 4, 4 – 1 in the ACC.
Penn looks to hosting the Ivy League Tournament, and looks forward to a first round match against Princeton. Penn’s 34 game league winning streak was ended by Princeton at Franklin Field. Penn wants this rematch.
“I’m excited to play Princeton,” said Brower Corbett. “I’m hoping this game
(against Duke) will spark my team to play this way. And they’re excited to play Princeton on our home field. They came in and beat us and celebrated on the split “P” and I hope that frustrates the team to come out and make a statement, and win big on Friday.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian