They don’t call it May Madness for nothing. In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 7 Penn women’s lacrosse found this out the hard way, coming up just short in a wild last-ditch comeback effort against unseeded Navy en route to a stunning 11-10 loss.
Heartbreak for Penn men’s lacrosse. Despite playing one of their best all-around games of the season, the Quakers (7-6, 3-3 Ivy) fell at the hands of the top-seeded Yale Bulldogs in the Ivy League Tournament semifinals, 13-12, after a tournament-record four overtimes.
It’d been sixteen days since Penn women’s lacrosse topped Princeton in an emotional, physical affair, leading from start to finish and giving their bitter rivals their first — and ultimately only — Ivy League loss of the year. In the teams’ first meeting since then, the Tigers made sure revenge would be sweet.
At this point, there’s only one word for Penn women’s lacrosse: dynasty.
As the 2016-17 school year nears its close, there have been some incredible Penn Athletics feats to reflect upon. But with so many Penn teams having such thorough success this year, there’s one natural question to ask — which one was best? DP Sports set out to find out.
From the implementation of a 30 second shot clock to prevent teams from holding the ball in 2012, to the ever-evolving faceoff rules designed to get the ball out and moving, to the elimination of the multiple clearing timer requirements in favor of a single 30 second count, collegiate lacrosse has always embraced its dynamism, never afraid to change itself in the hopes of improving the quality of the game.
However, while the NCAA proved adept at fixing these subtleties of gameplay, a more ominous problem emerged, one that had been ignored by the NCAA for too long.
Aside from personnel, tactics have changed significantly this season as the team has rolled out a brand new defensive scheme. The old standard of man-to-man defense was exchanged for a more fluid zone system, in part to adapt to the new shot clock rule.
One team needed to win to keep its season alive. The other had the chance to move into first place in the Ivy League with a victory. And both took care of business.
No. 10 Penn women’s lacrosse took one giant leap towards the top of the Ivy League standings with a pivotal 17-12 win over No. 7 Princeton on Wednesday night. Saturday’s clash at Harvard is now even more important, as the Quakers could conceivably return to the top of the conference, should league-leaders No. 11 Cornell slip up.
While most of the campus will be out celebrating Spring Fling on Saturday, Penn men’s lacrosse will be faced with a must-win game for the second week in a row if it wants to keep its Ivy League and NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Honorable Mention All-Ivy. 23 wins. 232 saves. 1,757 minutes played. So far, that is the legacy that the goalkeeper will leave behind from her two seasons with the Quakers. Quite possibly, fans may have never had the chance to witness her sheer dominance, but fate, as always, intervened.
From a development standpoint, a collegiate athlete’s freshman season is critical. It is a time of learning by doing, developing skills, and getting an initial taste of college athletics.
Talk about living up to the moment. With its back against the wall and the Ivy League Tournament on the line, Penn men’s lacrosse recovered its early season form just in time, defeating Harvard 14-10.
Having been on the brink of elimination from its tenth regular season conference championship in 11 years for more than a month, there’s been only one focus for Penn women’s lacrosse — staying alive. And behind a tremendously balanced offensive effort featuring a combined nine goals from senior Emily Rogers-Healion and freshman Gabby Rosenzweig, the Red and Blue did just that yet again.
It’s on to the next one. That’s the mentality for Penn women’s lacrosse as it prepares to take on Columbia this weekend in New York.
Win or go home. Penn men’s lacrosse will be headed up to Harvard this weekend in what is likely a must-win game for both teams if they hope to make it to the Ivy Tournament for a chance at an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament in May.
Operating from the defensive midfield, the senior might go unnoticed by the casual observer. For those interested in the Quakers solely for the highlight reel goals and doorstep saves, a player like Kreinz might not even be on their radar. He clears, he plays defensively, he scoops up ground balls, and he provides the occasional transition tally, but he’s by no means a goal scorer.
Penn women’s lacrosse has a knack for making big games look easy. It did that on Saturday when they handily took down Dartmouth, 17-6.
Everything in the early going truly pointed to a Penn men’s lacrosse victory, but Brown’s resiliency proved too much to handle, resulting in an 11-8 loss. The Quakers (4-5, 1-3 Ivy) are now on the brink of Ivy League Tournament elimination, as they once again failed to play the complete 60 minutes of lacrosse.
After falling just short of pulling off a seven-goal comeback against Ivy rival Yale, the Penn men’s lacrosse team will face another tough test this weekend against conference foe and national semifinalist Brown on Saturday.