They’re all must-win games from here on out, but that’s nothing new for Penn women’s lacrosse.
“We’ve felt that way since the beginning — with what we set out to do this year, every Ivy is a must-win game,“ coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “We have three more chances to try to have a share of this title. It’s a driving force for us.”
After Wednesday night’s loss to Princeton, the No. 10 Red and Blue’s streak of Ivy League regular season championships is in jeopardy as the Quakers fell into a first-place tie in the loss column with the Tigers.
The rest of their Ivy League slate continues over the next two weekends as the Quakers (7-4, 3-1 Ivy) host Brown (9-4, 2-3) on Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field for their Senior Day.
“[The seniors] were a very strong class coming in, unfortunately they’ve been plagued with a lot of injuries,” Corbett said. “With their competitiveness and their fight and how they’ve stuck together, it is really impressive how much they’ve given of themselves and how much they love this team.”
Though the seniors will certainly garner plenty of attention, the team is focused entirely on the task at hand — defeating a Brown team that is having one of its best years in recent memory.
“It’s going to be interesting because there are nine of us, but only five are graduating,” senior defender Allie Martin said. “Right now every single game means, so much because the Ivy League title is on the [line], so that’s what we’re really focusing on.”
The Bears started the season to the tune of a 7-0 record, even defeating Princeton in overtime. It might seem like the Bears have fallen off with a 2-4 record over their past six games, but only one of those losses, a 10-4 debacle against Harvard, was by more than one goal.
Brown boasts a pair of high-scoring offensive players in senior and freshman attacks Danielle Mastro and Bre Hudgins. The pair are both ranked in the top 10 in the Ivy League in points, with Mastro leading the league with 54 and Hudgins in sixth with 42.
On the defensive side, the Quakers will also have their hands full attempting to get past junior goalkeeper Kellie Roddy. Roddy has improved in each of her three seasons, and is currently posting the third-best goals against average in the Ivies (7.88).
“Brown has definitely gotten a lot better, I really respect their team. They have a lot of great players and we can’t take them lightly,” Martin said. “Last year we came out thinking that we had it, so this year especially with it being Senior Day and what it means for us, we’re going to come out with a lot of fight.”
For the Quakers, this game will be a chance to honor a very impressive senior class and to continue their quest for an eighth-straight Ivy League regular season title. All they need to do now is execute.
“The bottom line is our defense needs to be cleaner than we were [against Princeton]. We have to play smart, disciplined defense,” Corbett said. “Our attack has to score, we have to put points on the board and win the game on the offensive side.”