Against Cornell on Saturday, the Penn men's lacrosse team is out to settle a score - an odd thing for a team that gave the Big Red their only Ivy League loss in the last three years.
In 2006, Penn stunned No. 2 Cornell 8-6 at Franklin Field. It was the Big Red's only conference defeat since 2004, when they also lost to the Quakers.
But last season, the Quakers got thrashed by Cornell, 20-5. It was, by a margin of six, the most goals Penn has allowed in the last five years, and Cornell's highest output since 1998.
Both the blowout loss and the huge upset are still fresh memories for Penn's upperclassmen.
"I think everybody's got in it their minds that they took it to us last year, and it's time to exact a little revenge this season," defender Max Mauro said.
Penn coach Brian Voelker knows that those games have little influence on this year's matchup. He wants his players to get excited, but can't them get too caught up in history.
"It's not about two years ago, it's not about last year, it's not about last game, it's about showing up and playing hard and playing well on Saturday," Voelker said.
Even without the colorful past, this is a big game for both sides.
Cornell, while not as good as in the past two seasons, is still is one of the top 10 teams in the country. If the Quakers are to make a run at the Ivy title, they can't afford to count on the Big Red to lose too many Ivy League games.
"The next game is the biggest game, but this is going to be pretty hyped-up," freshman attacker Corey Winkoff said.
This season, the No. 8 Big Red (6-1, 1-0 Ivy) have outscored their opponents by over four goals per game, out-shot their opponents 40-26 and won 55.6 percent of the faceoffs.
Cornell attacker Ryan Hurley steals the show with 20 goals (23 points), but his supporting cast is equally dangerous - six players have double-figure points (Penn has four).
"Things start with two of their guys - [Max Seibald] and [John Glynn]," Voelker said. "They're probably two of the best middies in the league right now, and two really talented offensive players for them."
The Quakers have been fairly inconsistent on the defensive end. Mauro, a co-captain, knows that can't happen against Cornell.
"[I've tried to] put the defense on my shoulders this week, and direct traffic out there," Mauro said. "I don't have to be Superman, taking the ball away from everybody, bringing it down, getting assists and goals, but just [I'm trying to] keep it together, keep everybody's heads cool on the defensive end."
Franklin Field hasn't been friendly to Cornell: The Big Red have lost their last two on 33rd St.
Mauro knows it won't take superhuman heroics to beat the Big Red. The Quakers know they can pull off another upset; it's just a matter of executing.
"When you show up, play 60 minutes, and play the type of game you're capable of, you can beat any team in the country," Mauro said. "Last year is just an example of if you don't show up, you play half the game instead of the whole 60 minutes, you're going to get it taken to you against any team - whether it's Cornell or a team at the bottom of Division I."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.