PHILADELPHIA, PA 4/21/2012 – It was Senior Day for the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team. The program honored Seniors Erin Brennan and Emily Leitner who have given so much to the team and the school. Their contributions are recognized by Penn Coach Karin Brower-Corbett.
“They meant so much as personalities from day one,” said Brower-Corbett about her seniors.
“Erin impacted our program right off the bat. She started every game except for one when she was sick. She led on the field for us even when she was young. She is in charge out there, she is a really good friend to all off the field, and is team first.”
“Emily was one of the best teammates I’ve seen. She sat for two years, but was so supportive of the team and who was ahead of her. She cared more about the team than herself. She has been doing the job for us in the cage especially when the game could get out of control. She kept it closer than it should have been. She is one of the best goal keepers in the country.”
The way Penn came out in their 15 – 6 win over Brown it appeared that the seniors really wanted to make the day memorable. Brennan scored the first goal of the game just 27 seconds into it as she got behind the Brown defense and put it home. In the first half Brennan got the hat trick giving her a team best 25 goals and 46 points. Leitner also had a strong start to the game as she gave up just two goals, both on free position shots. Leitner felt the emotion of the moment had a positive impact on her performance.
“I wanted to come out and do what I could do,” said Leitner. “It is my last (regular season) game, and the defense played well. Me and Erin had a fire to come out strong, and hard, and win.”
The past four years have great meaning for the seniors as their class continued the legacy of success that Penn women’s lacrosse program has become.
“Emily and I came in when the program was one the rise,” said Brennan. “We came in as freshman and made it to the final four. Now, we are in position of being the Ivy champs. We are instilling the hard work, always striving, and never being complacent to the younger girls.”
In the game Leitner made 7 saves as the Penn defense gave up 18 shots to Brown. Offensively, Penn got balanced scoring. In addition to Brennan the Red and Blue got three goals each from Junior midfielders Meredith Cain and Maddie Poplawski, and three from Freshman attack Courtney Tomchik.
The Quakers bounced back from the loss at Dartmouth to move back into first place in the conference. It was important that they play well going into the final Ivy League game against Princeton. Their hopes of hosting the Ivy League Tournament rests on that game. They can go into that game on a positive note.
“Princeton beat us twice last year and is a game that I’ve been waiting for,” Brower-Corbett said. “I’ve been thinking about that a lot. They are one of our biggest rivals, and we remember last year. We’re excited to go in there and beat Princeton to get a share of the title. We want to take it from them on Wednesday.”
“We’re going to be ready to win it.”
Senior Day Notes
Penn is a school, and the women’s lacrosse program gets it right on how to celebrate Senior Day. I have seen three, and enjoy it just as much each time. After the game the team assembles in front of their rooting section to sing “The Red and Blue” to the crowd. Following the song, the parents of the seniors join their daughters to have a moment to savor. The Junior class then takes the microphone to tell what the senior class has meant to them. The ceremony is capped by a video presentation about the graduating players. Simply said, the seniors get a memory that lasts a lifetime. And they deserve it.
Emily and Erin look towards another Ivy League title and a shot at a national championship. In June Erin Brennan, who will be a Wharton School graduate, starts work at Morgan Stanley in New York City. It is another example of being winners off the field as well as on the field.
Written By: Glenn Papazian