No NCAA bid for Penn women's soccer after stellar season
Selection committee passes on Quakers for at-large bid to tournament
November 7, 2011, 10:08 pm·
Penn women’s soccer had a historic season, but fell short of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Monday as the seedings were revealed.
“The NCAA thing is disappointing, but I don’t want it to overshadow what this team has accomplished this year,” coach Darren Ambrose said.
The team certainly has accomplished a lot — the Quakers finished the season with a 3-1 win over Princeton at home, which extended their home winning streak to 13 games, and closed out a perfect slate at Rhodes Field this year. The Quakers have not lost a game on their home turf since Oct. 8 of last year, when they lost, 2-1, to Columbia. Princeton’s goal ended a 10-game home shutout streak.
The 2011 Quakers set records across the board. They tied a program mark of 14 wins on the season and set a school record of 13 shutouts. They finished second in the Ivy League with a conference record of 5-1, the sole loss coming against Harvard early in the season. The Crimson took first place, as they went undefeated in conference play and received the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program, and look at what we did,” Ambrose said. “I think we were able to gain a tremendous amount of respect for the program with such a historic season.”
While Penn may have been left out of the tournament, the Red and Blue did not go unnoticed in the last round of the Ivy League weekly honors.
Senior forward Ursula Lopez-Palm was recognized as Player of the Week for her two goals against Princeton in her final collegiate game. She joins fellow senior Marin McDermott and sophomore Kathryn Barth, who also earned Ivy accolades this season.
Senior defender Adrienne Lerner was also recognized for her outstanding season by the College Sports Information Directors of America. In addition, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team, which puts her in the running to win an Academic All-American award.
She is just the fourth player in program history to be recognized by the CoSIDA, joining alumnae Katy Cross, Natalie Capuano and Sarah Friedman. Lerner was an invaluable member of Penn’s back line, which allowed only seven goals all season.
This year’s seniors leave with one Ivy championship and an NCAA tournament appearance under their belts after sharing the league title in 2010 and playing Penn State in the first round last year.
“Those seniors have been the foundation of our team all year long, so we’ve got to go back to building a strong team off the field for next season,” Ambrose said.
Looking ahead to next season, Ambrose expressed optimism after what he has seen from his team this year.
“Last year we didn’t know how our defense was going to shape up, but … players rise to the challenge and next year they’re going to rise again. They have big shoes to fill, but it’s been an amazing season, and I’ve had a great time coaching these girls.”