They say records are made to be broken. The Penn women's lacrosse team hopes to prove this clichZ wrong when it faces Ivy rival Dartmouth, which holds the No. 10 national ranking, on Franklin Field at 7 p.m. A loss to the Big Green will tie the Quakers for the school record for most losses in a season. Despite a 1-9 record (1-3 Ivy League) however, Penn still believes it has the ability to beat the Big Green. "We have so much talent on our team," senior co-captain Jenni Leisman said. "But if every person on the field doesn't decide that today's going to be the day to put it together, we're never going to win." The Quakers' confidence level is at a season low after a 15-3 drubbing at the hands of Rutgers on Wednesday night. The team knows that it must put forth a much better effort than it did against the Scarlet Knights if it has any chance of beating the Big Green. "Hopefully people will play better Friday after feeling so bad after coming off against Rutgers," Leisman said. "Everyone needs to realize that they have to step it up individually, regardless of how good the team we're playing is." And Dartmouth (7-1, 4-0) is quite good. After losing its first game to No. 1 Maryland, the Big Green have rolled off seven straight wins, including four Ivy victories. Dartmouth's success is due to talent in all aspects of the game, especially in the midfield and on attack. Junior midfielder Jacque Weitzel is Dartmouth's top scoring threat. Weitzel and junior Melissa Frazier were first team All-Americans last season and are on their way to that honor again this year. Junior Emily Fenwick adds depth on attack and her play earned her All-Ivy honors in 1998. In its last game, Dartmouth romped over Vermont, 21-1. In the game, Weitzel played less than 20 minutes but still scored two goals to go with six assists. Penn assistant coach Alanna Wren compares the Big Green's style of play to that of Rutgers. Wren has been leading the Quakers since the team petitioned for the removal of head coach Anne Sage before the season a month and a half ago. "They have one of the best players in the country on their attacking end, so it's going to be a bit of the same thing [as the Rutgers game]," Wren said. "We have to drop and double team and contain their high scorers. It's discouraging that it took us [so] long to get it going against Rutgers. If we don't make a conscious decision from minute one, it's going to be the same score." At this point in the season, Wren sees confidence as the Quakers' biggest problem. Despite ongoing difficulties with turnovers, scoring and midfield play, mental toughness seems to be Penn's most prominent obstacle. "The members of the team have to have some confidence in their abilities and execute the game plan we're giving them," Wren said. "The team is playing scared. People aren't willing to make the sacrifice and take the chance and go for it. Something has to give to beat these ranked teams and we're not just gong to beat Dartmouth by playing good old-fashioned normal lacrosse." Even if the Quakers do play a great game and defeat Dartmouth, they still have to face No. 5 Princeton and travel to Brown -- which recently fell from the national rankings -- to end the season. The tough schedule that lies ahead means that Penn must play better than it has so far to avoid breaking the school record for futility in a season. Nevertheless, the Red and Blue have not quit. "It's hard to look at the end of our season and see three nationally ranked teams but I don't think anyone should be giving up yet," Leisman said. The Quakers will discover tonight whether or not they can prevent themselves from falling victim to the clichZ.Comments powered by Disqus
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