Penn seeks 31st-straight Ivy win
Heading into Yale game, Quakers have 30-game streak in the back of their minds
March 18, 2011, 2:29 am · Updated March 18, 2011, 12:00 am·
The Penn women’s lacrosse team can’t be mentioned these days without mention of ‘The Streak.’
Thirty games. Thirty wins.
That’s what the Quakers (5-0, 1-0 Ivy), currently ranked fourth in the nation, have accomplished within the Ivy League over the last five years.
Their streak of 30 consecutive conference wins is the second longest in Ivy history. The record is held by Harvard, who won 36 straight games from 1987 to 1993.
Coincidentally, the streak was most recently in danger last Saturday against the Crimson. Senior attack Bridget Waclawik scored a late goal to help the Quakers edge Harvard, 9-8.
And the streak will be on the line this Saturday against Yale (1-4, 0-1) at Franklin Field.
Coach Karin Brower Corbett downplays the significance of the run, but her players at least occasionally have it on their minds.
“We take each game one game at a time, but you definitely think about the streak,” Waclawik said. “We haven’t lost an Ivy League game since my junior year in high school. It’s a lot of pressure.”
With its high standing in the lacrosse community, Penn is constantly facing hyper-motivated opponents who would like nothing more than to knock the Quakers off.
Being one of the best teams in the nation certainly brings potential pitfalls for the Red and Blue.
Corbett acknowledges the added burden.
“A target’s on our back,” she said. “A lot of the teams that we’ve been playing, we’re their chance to be ranked. For them to beat us would get them a ranking.”
Waclawik echoed her coach.
“We would be a huge win for any Ivy League team,” she said. “I think every Ivy League team has us circled on their calendar.”
On Saturday, Penn will face one such team in the Bulldogs.
Though Yale finished fifth in the league last season, it still poses a threat.
The focus for the Quakers will be starting strong. Last year, the Bulldogs effectively stalled after taking an early lead and nearly pulled out a victory. This year, the Red and Blue will look to prevent any Yale tarrying by maintaining possession. Penn averages the fewest turnovers per game among Ivy teams at 8.6.
Adding significance to Saturday’s game is Penn’s alumni weekend.
“We’ll have a lot of alums back,” Corbett said. “I hope that we can play well for them and have them be proud to be a part of Penn lacrosse.”
Building toward an Ivy League-record streak, the alums will be seeing the Quakers at their proudest moment.