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Penn Women's Lacrosse Takes Third Title in Succession

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - After a slow start that saw the Quakers down 2-1 to host Brown, Penn unleashed 13 goals in the second half and easily defeated the Bears, 14-4. With the win, Penn finished off its third straight undefeated Ivy League campaign at 7-0. The Quakers have won 22 Ivy contests in a row, which ties the conference's longest streak in nearly 20 years -- Dartmouth won 22 straight from 1997 to 2000, before losing its 2001 Ivy League opener to Yale.

(The Ivy League record for consecutive wins is 36, set by Harvard from 1987 to 1993; to give you a sense of how dominant Harvard was at the time, the Crimson won 20 in a row before losing their 1986 Ivy finale, then set off on their 36-game streak the next year.)

Five women scored more than once for Penn, led by Courtney Lubbe who had three. Freshman Erin Brennan scored twice and added two assists, while Giulia Giordano had two goals and an assist.

To say that the women got off to a slow start Saturday would be an understatement; though they outshot the Bears, 9-3, the Quakers need more than 24 minutes to get on the board. Brown was hardly much better, getting a goal from Kelly Robinson with 19:20 left in the half and Jesse Nunn four minutes later but nothing else. Ali DeLuca finally scored to break Penn's skein, but the score was 2-1 Bears at the break.

Once Penn found its offensive legs in the second half, the run was lethal. Lubbe scored just 3:09 into the second, and less than a minute later Brennan gave the Quakers a lead they would not relinquish. Lubbe need just 39 seconds to double Penn's lead, and then 1:40 later Samantha Bird scored to make it 5-2.

Brown's Alexa Caldwell broke the run, but Penn responded with the next nine goals to eliminate any doubt. Penn outshot Brown, 20-4, for a 29-7 advantage in the game. Emily Szelest started in goal for Penn and had three saves in 52 minutes, while Emily Leitner went the rest of the way.

Saturday's win sets up a showdown next weekend at No. 1 Northwestern. That game will be a rematch of last year's NCAA finalists.
- A.S.