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Women's Lacrosse wins an overtime thriller against Dartmouth, to improve their season record to 11-0. Credit: Jake Werlin

The women’s lacrosse team has won 26 consecutive Ivy League games.

But of those victories, none were closer than last year’s 7-6 overtime victory over Dartmouth on a rainy April day when, according to coach Karin Brower Corbett, “we didn’t show up like we needed to.”

The No. 7 Quakers better show up tomorrow in Hanover, N.H., if they want to extend their streak, which started with the last game of 2006 and encompasses three Ancient Eight titles.

No. 6 Dartmouth (9-1, 4-0 Ivy) has ripped off nine straight victories and is tied with the Quakers (9-3, 4-0) for first place in the conference. Tomorrow’s winner will gain the inside track to the Ivy League championship.

“This is definitely the biggest game we’ve had this year,” senior defense Barb Seaman said. “This is what’s going to get us into the [NCAA] Tournament.”

While beating the Big Green will help Penn’s tournament resume, this year, the Ivy League’s automatic bid will be determined by a four-team conference tournament.

The regular season champion will host the inaugural tournament, so tomorrow’s contest may also determine the host institution.

And the Quakers hope they won’t have to make the seven-hour drive to Hanover again.

“If you lose, you got to go back up there, so that’s a big trip,” Corbett said.

The two teams match up evenly, since both are known primarily for defense. Dartmouth is currently third in Division I with 6.40 goals allowed per game, while Penn is just one spot behind at 6.75.

Both Corbett and Seaman pointed out that since Dartmouth has an aggressive defense that likes to face-guard, Penn must be patient, control the ball and shoot accurately.

Additionally, since the Big Green graduated just one player last year, Seaman said this year’s squad may be “one of the best Dartmouth teams in a while.”

But ironically, due to injuries, the Big Green have been forced to rely on their underclassmen more than their experienced seniors.

Greta Meyer, who leads the team with 45 points, is a junior, while the next three points leaders, Sarah Parks (31 points), Sarah Plumb (27) and Kristen Goldberg (21) are all sophomores.

However, perhaps the most important player on the team is a senior. Goalkeeper Julie Wadland has the third best goals-against average in the nation at 6.52 — Penn senior Emily Szelest is fourth at 7.02.

Last year, Wadland was the lone goalie on the All-Ivy first team, even though Szelest led the nation in goals-against average.

With young players stepping up in front of a veteran goalkeeper, Dartmouth has strung together nine wins, including victories over three ranked opponents. Particularly impressive were a pair of road victories at then-No. 8 Notre Dame and then-No. 6 Syracuse.

“They’re coming in with a ton of confidence on their home field and wanting to win the Ivies,” Corbett said. “They’re going to come out like game busters.”

And if nothing else, the Big Green will be motivated after almost ending Penn’s streak the last time the teams met.

“I’m sure they’ll be pissed off from last year,” Seaman said.

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