Three Philly Division I teams received bids to the NCAA Lacrosse tournament as the Penn Men’s and Women’s teams in addition to the Villanova Men’s team. Each team received an at-large bid and will open on the road.
The Penn Women were invited to the NCAA tournament and will play their opening game on Sunday, May 15 at Duke, the number 5 seed. Penn lost in the semifinal round of the Ivy League tournament. Coach Karin Brower Corbett felt that the strength of schedule and wins over two top teams would warrant a bid. Penn defeated North Carolina, ranked number 3 at that time, and number 4 Duke, their opponent. Penn beat Duke 13 – 10 on Drexel’s Vidas Field. The Red and Blue also faced #1 Maryland, and #2 Northwestern. Penn has a win over Duke, now they have to beat them again on the Blue Devils home field. Should Penn advance they will meet the winner of the game between Stanford and Florida. Princeton and Dartmouth were other Ivy League teams that were invited to the tournament.
The Penn Men’s team by virtue of a big win over the defending national champion Duke team were rewarded with a tournament invitation. The Quakers will travel to South Bend, Indiana to meet last year’s runner-up Notre Dame, the number 4 seed. The game is scheduled for May 14. If Penn scores the upset they would meet the winner of the Delaware at Duke game. Ivy League Champion Cornell is the #2 seed in the tournament.
The Villanova men will play in the first NCAA Tournament game played west of the Mississippi River as the Wildcats drew ECAC Champion Denver. The game will be played on the campus of Denver University on May 15. Villanova will battle the altitude as well as the Denver squad. The Wildcats can score as Kevin Cunningham returns to the team. Jack Rice is a goal scorer. Long Stick Midfielder Brian Karalunas leads the nation in caused turnovers averaging 4.5 per game. Villanova has posted 10 wins or more for three consecutive years. Coach Mike Corrado says it is meaningful for the program to be considered as one of the best teams in the country. If Villanova advances, they will meet the winner of the Johns Hopkins vs. Hofstra match. Syracuse, the number one seed, and Notre Dame were other Big East schools that made the tournament.
Written By: Glenn Papazian