Playing in their last regular season home game with a fourth consecutive undefeated Ivy League season on the line, seniors Ali DeLuca and Emma Spiro made sure the most successful class in the women’s lacrosse team’s history finished its Ivy careers with a win.
Led by the duo’s combined 14 points — including a career-high nine from DeLuca — No. 5 Penn dominated Brown yesterday from the opening draw, winning 19-5 in a game that was over before it began.
With the victory, the Quakers (12-3, 7-0 Ivy) clinched their fourth consecutive outright Ivy League title, the first team to do so since Harvard won five from 1988-92. Only three other teams in Penn history have won four straight outright Ivy League titles: men’s basketball, women’s fencing and men’s outdoor track and field.
“You couldn’t ask for a better senior day,” DeLuca said.
Penn put away the Bears (7-7, 2-5) in the first half, scoring a season-high 13 goals while allowing just three. Sophomore Erin Brennan needed just 62 seconds of play to find the back of the net. And while Brown would knot it up at one two minutes later, the Bears never would get any closer.
Both coach Karin Brower Corbett and DeLuca said the Quakers’ early offensive spurt happened because Brown’s style of defense lead to double teams that Penn easily avoided.
“Our team works really well rolling off doubles,” DeLuca said. “We were able to exploit that.”
In the second half things again started off quickly, as Spiro needed just one minute to score, assisted by DeLuca. It was DeLuca’s sixth assist of the contest, tying a 29-year-old Penn single-game record. Less than 90 seconds later, Spiro scored her game-high fourth goal.
In addition to DeLuca and Spiro, senior attacks Courtney Lubbe (one goal) and Megan Smith (two goals and an assist) found the back of the net, while senior defenses Kalleigh Wright and Barb Seaman, as well as senior goalkeeper Emily Szelest, held the Brown offense to a season-low five goals.
“They’re an amazing group,” Corbett said of the Class of 2010. “They came in [as freshmen] and pushed the team … I’m very proud.”
Though yesterday was Senior Day, it was not the seniors’ final game at Franklin Field. As the undefeated Ivy League champion, Penn will host the inaugural Ivy League conference tournament next weekend as the No. 1 seed, with the winner gaining the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Joining them will be No. 2 Dartmouth, No. 3 Cornell and No. 4 Princeton, who will face the Quakers this Friday in the semifinals.
Corbett and DeLuca thought the wide margin of victory gave the team momentum heading into the tournament, but the coach warned that the squad can’t be overly confident entering the competition.
“I really was a big proponent of the Ivy League tournament when we were climbing,” Corbett said. “[But] it’s tough when you’re 7-0 — you don’t want it as much.”Comments powered by Disqus
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