Coach Karin Brower Corbett has been at Penn for a while now, but this spring break was a bit different for her. After all, it’s not every break that you become the program’s all-time leader in wins.
But that’s exactly what happened, as No. 13 Penn women’s lacrosse (4-1, 2-0 Ivy) won its first two Ivy League contests of the year, taking down Harvard (3-2, 1-1), 9-4, and Yale (5-1, 1-1), 11-9.
“As much as I’m the coach, I feel that [the milestone] really goes to the assistant coaches, to the players, to the support staff from weight training to everything,” Corbett said. “We’ve just been able to be successful on the field and in the classroom, and it’s a credit to Penn and the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with.”
As has happened during most games this season, the win against Harvard was paced by a dominating defensive effort. The Quakers gave up just four goals, all to freshman attack Marisa Romeo, who leads the Crimson with 17 goals on the season.
On the offensive side, the Quakers got a strong effort from their own freshman phenom as Sarah Barcia contributed her first career hat trick after missing on a few opportunities in the prior game against Rutgers.
“At Rutgers, she had three quick sticks that she shot high into the goalie’s stick,” Corbett said. “It was great to see a freshman, who was 0-for-4 against Rutgers, come back and make those changes.”
However, Penn’s stellar play wouldn’t exactly translate into their second game of the break. Against Yale, the Quakers had plenty of opportunities on both sides of the ball, but struggled to come up with the goals and defensive stops they needed.
The Red and Blue still managed to win the game, but it was far from the performance that was expected of them. The team went just 1-for-11 on free position shots and junior goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson came up with just four saves against a strong Elis attack.
“Offensively, we were generating a ton of movement and a ton of opportunity, but our shooting just wasn’t good,” Corbett said. “We were being pretty predictable on our shots, and [Yale goalkeeper Erin McMullan] is a good goalie.”
For Penn, the victory against Yale marked the team’s 11th consecutive win within the Ivy League and the 50th win in the team’s past 52 Ivy contests. However, the real history was made for Corbett as she notched her 152nd win, passing the mark set by Anne Sage from 1974-1998.
Corbett’s work as coach has been incredible, as the record win is far from the most impressive of her accomplishments. The Quakers have won the past seven Ivy League championships under her watch and since taking over the program in 2000, Corbett has amassed a 70-30 record in the Ancient Eight.
“I didn’t even really know [becoming the all-time leader in wins] was on the horizon. I don’t really think about those things,” Corbett said. “I’ve had tremendous assistant coaches, so much support, the administration, admissions and financial aid. Everyone’s been really supportive."
These wins also moved Penn into a first-place tie with Brown, as both teams are 2-0 in Ivy play. The Red and Blue have four more nonconference games slated before they return to conference play.
“I was pleased with [this weekend],” Corbett said. “For us, we ordinarily rely a lot on attack, and we really need to work on our finishing.”