Ousted from the top five in the coaches’ ranking for the first time since March 3, 2009, the No. 7 Penn women’s lacrosse team will need a convincing win over Johns Hopkins tonight if it wants to reclaim a spot in the upper echelon.
After escaping with a 7-5 victory over an inferior Yale team Saturday, Penn will host the Blue Jays at Franklin Field tonight.
The Quakers (6-1) look to gain back some of their offensive mojo from earlier in the season. In the two games before visiting New Haven, Conn., last weekend, the team scored a combined 30 goals but overall has averaged just 11.14 goals per game (44th out of 89 Division I teams).
Penn’s attack should be bolstered by senior Emma Spiro, who returned to the field Saturday after missing the previous five games due to an ankle injury. Though she didn’t tally a point, Spiro thinks her second game back will be much better.
“As a team we’ve been struggling a little with offensive output,” she said. “I think we’re really ready to come together.”
The Blue Jays (5-3), meanwhile, have shown no problems scoring as of late, putting up 21 goals in a rout of George Washington Saturday. The team, which has scored at least nine goals in every game, ranks 21st in scoring in Division I, netting 13.5 goals per game.
Individually, Johns Hopkins has a strong sophomore class, including the team’s top two scorers, Candance Rossi and Colleen McCaffrey.
It will be up to the Quakers’ highly touted defense to hold Rossi and McCaffrey in check. Penn’s defense sits second in the nation with 5.29 goals allowed per game.
The Quakers earned an extremely rare shutout last Wednesday, beating Saint Joseph’s 14-0. It was the first shutout for Penn since 1981.
Recent history is on the Quakers’ side, as they’ve won three in a row against the Blue Jays, including an 11-3 road victory last year. However, Johns Hopkins is 5-3 all-time in the series. And considering the Quakers bested Yale 10-2 in 2009, looking to the past may not be a good predictor this year.
Staff writer Jennifer Scuteri contributed reporting to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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