The Ancient Eight is beginning to heat up.
Penn women’s lacrosse will take on Dartmouth this Saturday in the second installment of a five-game Ivy League stretch. The Quakers (9-2, 3-0 Ivy) won the first of these games against Brown by a one-goal margin last week. They will look to maintain this momentum when the Big Green (7-4, 3-1) visit Franklin Field.
The anticipation will be even higher than usual heading into the matchup, as it will be Senior Day and the second-to-last home game of the regular season. A win would not only keep Penn at the top of the Ivy League but also add to the legacy of the team's leaders.
“When I was an underclassman, I wanted to do it that much more for the seniors,” senior defender Katy Junior said. “There’s a lot of energy going into it.”
In terms of the game itself, the Quakers will have their hands full with a Dartmouth squad that can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. The Big Green haven't been kept under 10 goals this season, but Penn’s defense has been a huge component of the team’s late-game composure.
“We have to do our job individually, but it has to be as a team that we’re helping one another,” coach Karin Corbett said.
The Big Green, unranked in the media poll but ranked No. 24 in the nation in the coaches poll, pose a serious threat to Penn’s current Ivy League supremacy. Of Dartmouth’s four losses, three were to ranked opponents – one to No. 1 Boston College – and the other was an away loss in double-overtime to Michigan.
“Dartmouth has a lot to prove,” Corbett said. “They’re going to come out here and be ready to go.”
Dartmouth is especially good at the draw, taking the last 12 against Princeton despite finishing with a loss. Being on defense more often wouldn't necessarily prevent the Quakers from winning, especially since they've limited opponents to an average of less than nine goals on the season, but the team will have to be ready for a fight.
“We deal very well with high-pressure, high-stakes games,” Junior said.
This game will likely be one of those. Between their scoring attack and strong defense, the Quakers have struck a successful balance this season, netting goals and halting other teams' advances in crunch time. This approach will be put to the test this weekend, but the Red and Blue are still confident that they can remain undefeated in conference play after the dust settles.