As the spring season approaches, Penn men’s lacrosse finds itself entering the season as strong contenders, ranking 10th on the Inside Lacrosse preseason media poll. Atop the list were No.1 Virginia and No. 2 Maryland.
The Quakers are coming off a season where they went 11-5 in conference play, pulling off upsets against Brown and Yale en route to winning the Ivy League Tournament as the fourth seed. After winning its first game in the NCAA tournament against Richmond, Penn would eventually see its seven-game winning streak end with a 9-11 loss to Rutgers in the quarterfinals.
At first glance, this season is shaping up to be tough for Penn, as the Quakers will play eight of the top 20 teams nationally. Among them are conference opponents No. 4 Cornell, No. 6 Princeton, No. 7 Yale, No. 13 Harvard, and No. 16 Brown. Additionally, Penn will have to face off against No. 3 Georgetown and No. 8 Duke.
Despite the difficult path back to becoming kings of the Ivy League, the Quakers are primed to repeat, returning most of their top players, including the top five point scorers from last year’s roster.
The senior trio consisting of midfielder Sam Handley, attacker Dylan Gergar, and midfielder Gabe Furey will be looking to add on to their already impressive resumes. Last season, Handley led the team with 73 points and 37 assists while Gergar led the team with 52 goals scored. Furey also contributed, finishing the season with the third most points scored at 32.
Junior attacker Cam Rubin will also look to improve upon his performance from last year, which saw him scoring the fourth-most points on the roster with 21 goals and 8 assists. Sophomore attacker Ben Smith is also poised to play an even larger role in Penn’s high-scoring lineup, after an impressive start to his collegiate career with 27 points as a freshman and with a full season’s worth of experience under his belt.
The team will open up its season in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 18 at 12:00 p.m. against Georgetown, Penn’s highest-ranked opponent of the year. While it will undoubtedly be a tough test, it should also be a great opportunity for the Quakers to reestablish themselves as major challengers for the Ivy League title.