The University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team received and invitation the NCAA Tournament. The Quakers were hoping to receive a bid despite the loss to Princeton in the Ivy League Championship final. That bid came, and the Red and Blue will meet Albany in a first round game at Syracuse. The game will be played on Friday May 8 at 2 PM. The winner will meet Syracuse, the fourth seed in the tournament.
Penn posted a 13 – 4 record this season. The Quakers will be making their 11th consecutive appearance in the national championship tournament where the team brings a 10 – 10 record in post season play. It will be the first time that the Quakers and the Great Danes play each other.
The game is expected to be a defensive battle. Penn comes into the game giving up an average of 7.29 goals per game which ranks 9th in the nation. However, Albany (14 – 4) gives up an average of 6.44 goals which is 3rd best in the nation. Lucy Ferguson of Penn is one of two goal keeper finalists named for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award. Ferguson has a save percentage of .489 ninth-best in the nation. Meg Markham, Ivy League Defender of the Year, anchors the defense in front of Ferguson. Markham has 44 caused turnovers and is also a Tewaaraton finalst. The Great Danes feature Courtney Henderson in goal and Erin Monna on defense.
Both teams have offensive fire power. Ivy League Attacker of the Year, Tory Bensen, scored a career-high 51 goals this season, which ranks second for most goals in program history. For Albany, Maureen Keggins, the America East Offensive Player of the Year, leads the country with 94 points this season. Her 58 assists are most among any Division I player and she has added 36 goals. Dakotah Savitcheff is fourth in the country with 64 goals this season. Rachel Bowles is 17th among all players with 53 goals.
The Great Danes went 5-1 in American East competition advancing to the America East championship game, losing to No. 6 Stony Brook, 11 – 8. The Great Danes and Quakers have played three common opponents – all Ivy teams. Albany defeated Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth. Penn went 4-0 against those teams during the season.
The Red and Blue is 3-0 all-time against teams in the America East in NCAA Tournament games. Those three wins came against a Boston University program which now competes in the Patriot League.
The Quakers went to the Final Four from 2007 – 09. In 2008 Penn played in the national final against Northwestern.
This year the semifinals and final hosted by Saint Joseph’s University May 22 and 24 at PPL Park in Chester, PA.
Written By: Glenn Papazian