When asked to provide her insights into the rest of the Ivy League, Penn women’s lacrosse coach Karin Corbett first remarked upon the League’s ascension as a whole. According to Corbett, perennial powerhouses Penn and Princeton will be pushed by Dartmouth, Cornell, and the rest of the loaded conference, leading potentially to an exciting race towards the finish line.
“We are getting better and better as a conference,” Corbett said. “The League is super competitive this year, and anything can happen on any given day. So for us to be successful, we need to come every day with the mindset of getting better.”
With that improvement and the preseason poll in mind, here's a look around the Ivy League.
No. 1 Princeton
With sophomore Kyla Sears and junior Tess D’Orsi leading the charge, the vaunted Tigers' attack is as dangerous as ever, and with returners all over the field, the entire team could improve upon even last season’s lofty successes.
“Princeton didn’t graduate that many kids, so they are very talented,” Corbett said. “We tied with them for the League title last year and lost to them unfortunately in the Ivy League Tournament. They’re extremely strong, and they’re the team to beat for us. We’ve had really good games against them, and whenever we play, the games are close and cutthroat. It can be anybody’s game on any given day.”
Last season, those evenly matched contests went Princeton’s way. This year, the tides could very well turn.
No. 2 Penn
After earning a share of the League title in 2018 with a fairly youthful team, the Quakers appear set to repeat, as the young talent from last year’s team should only improve. With the high-scoring trio of junior attacker Gabby Rosenzweig, junior midfielder Erin Barry, and sophomore attacker Zoe Belodeau at the helm, the offense has the potential to be among the nation’s best.
Each of the aforementioned three has been pegged by Inside Lacrosse as a preseason All-American, and in the season opener against Delaware this past weekend, they did not disappoint, each posting five points in the blowout win. The defense should be similarly impressive this year, led by seniors Katy Junior and Lauren O’Mara and junior Chelsea Kibler. With that trio in front of goalie Mikaila Cheeseman, the Red and Blue are as balanced as can be.
No. 3 Dartmouth
After bursting onto the scene with an 11-5 record last season, the Big Green will be hungry for more this year. Junior Katie Bourque patrols a strong midfield, and the attack should be talented once again. But the real strength of Dartmouth’s team, according to Corbett, is the play of draw specialist Kathryn Giroux, who ranked fourth nationally with 8.31 draw controls per game.
“Dartmouth came along really strong last year,” Corbett said. “They have one of the best draw kids in the nation, which forces you to have to play really good defense and to make the most of your opportunities on the attack.”
No. 4 Cornell
The departures of Joey Coffy and Taylor Reed to graduation place the Big Red in a precarious position, but look for returners Caroline Allen and Hannah O’Reilly to pick up the slack in their place. After a disappointing 7-8 season in 2018, the Big Red will be hungry to reassert themselves as mainstays in the NCAA Tournament.
No. 5 Brown
As a testament to the League’s depth, even teams in the bottom half of these rankings like Brown could potentially spell trouble for Penn and Princeton. According to Corbett, Brown is always a difficult place to play, and the Bears are loaded with returners, led by sophomore Risa Mosenthal who has already established herself last year as one of the Ivy League’s best.
"[Mosenthal] is one of the best kids in the entire League,” Corbett said. “She’s a tough person to match up with, and I think that this is Brown’s best team in several years. They’ll certainly be a tough game for us.”
No. 6 Harvard
Last year’s Ivy League Attacker of the Year Julia Glynn has graduated, but the Crimson have reinforcements on that end of the field, as seniors Keeley MacAfee and Nicole Baiocco are both stars in their own right. If Harvard’s defense can step up its game, the Crimson could be a dark horse to make the Ivy League Tournament.
No. 7 Columbia
Although Columbia may not be a threat to win the League title this season, the Lions won’t be an easy out either with star Lindsey Ewertsen back in the fold. The senior midfielder was a unanimous First-Team All-Ivy selection a season ago, and with enough consistency from her supporting class, Columbia could very well put its rivals on upset alert.
No. 8 Yale
The Bulldogs will have a difficult time cracking the top half of the Ivy standings given the graduation of Madeleine Gramigna at the midfield and the lack of returning first-team All-Ivy selections.