Penn lacrosse dominates Ivy weekly awards
When Penn men’s lacrosse walked away from a road victory in Providence, R.I. over No. 10 Brown, the whole Ivy League took notice.
The Quakers used a team effort to take down their highly-ranked rivals, but junior goalie Jimmy Sestilio and freshman midfield Kevin McGeary caught the eyes of the media with their stellar individual performances.
Sestilio and McGeary were named Ivy League Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week respectively, the first time either has received a weekly award in their careers at Penn.
The men’s squad wasn’t the only one to take home Ivy weekly honors. Senior defender Meg Markham of Penn women’s lacrosse took home Defensive Player of the Week honors in the Ancient Eight.
While Saturday’s game started slow for Sestilio in net, he was a brick wall for the entirety of the second half. His 17 saves were a career high and were crucial in holding off a Brown attack that was averaging over 16 goals per game heading into last weekend’s contest.
A big part of Sestilio‘s success came from a team-wide defensive effort to shut down defending Ivy Player of the Week Larken Kemp. The Brown long stick midfield is considered one of the nation’s best at his position, but was limited to zero shots throughout the course of the match.
On the offensive end, McGeary added two goals on eight shots. His second goal was especially key, cutting the Brown lead to one with 32 seconds remaining in the first half. The rookie’s strong play in the opening period kept Penn in the game and put it in position to mount its successful comeback.
Markham’s consistent play led an impressive defensive unit that had opponents in a stranglehold all week, as the Quakers limited Columbia and Northwestern to a combined 10 goals.
Against the Lions, the defense allowed only one goal for an Ivy League-leading second time this season.
While the Red and Blue eventually came up short against the No. 6 Wildcats in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday, the defense held true. The Quakers limited Northwestern to less than 10 goals for only the fourth time all year.
Selena Lasota — Northwestern’s leading scorer with 40 goals entering the game — struggled against Markham, only tallying one goal under the senior’s watch and just two on the game.
Markham — who won her second Defensive Player of the Week award of the season and fifth of her career — added to what is now a long tally of impressive games for the Quakers. She is averaging 3.0 caused turnovers per game this year, good enough for first and second in the league and nation respectively in the statistic.
Additionally, Markham has now taken home the Red and Blue’s fourth Defensive Player of the Week award of their 2015 campaign. In addition to her two, sophomore defender Megan Kelly and senior goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson each have an award to their name.
Next up for the men’s team is a date with Harvard on Saturday as the squad tries to keep its Ivy postseason hopes alive. The women’s team also plays the Crimson on Saturday.