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Towson Bound!

Sunday, January 25, 2009



Courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications

Penn Women's Lacrosse Punches Ticket to Towson

Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal game between second-seeded Penn and No. 7 seed Boston University was not a work of art. The teams combined for 30 turnovers -- 15 apiece -- and put home just 13 goals between them despite taking 51 combined shots.

But the Quakers are advancing to the NCAA semifinal round because they once again did what they do best -- play solid defense, with the ultimate backstop in senior goalkeeper Sarah Waxman. On Drexel's Vidas Field, Penn knocked off BU, 8-5.

Penn (16-1) will meet unseeded Duke -- a surprise 9-7 winner over No. 3 Maryland -- in the second semifinal next Friday night at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium, at 8:30 p.m. The first semifinal, at 6 p.m., figures to be a high-scoring affair, as Northwestern and Syracuse will match up; those teams feature the two top-scoring offenses in the nation this year. both semifinals will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

Penn never trailed in the game after Melissa Lehman scored with 13:57 left in the first half; however, the Quakers never made things completely comfortable for their faithful.

Boston University (18-3) -- which entered Saturday's game with 15 straight victories -- scored the game's first goal when Lauren Morton finished a feed from McKinley Curro 5:36 into the contest. The goal was Morton's 56th of the season. That lead lasted all of 14 seconds, as Chelsea Kocis collected the ensuing draw and fed a wide-open Rachel Manson in front of the BU goal.

The Terriers regained the lead three minutes later on a Xan Weitzel goal, assisted by Rachel Collins, but that would be all the scoring they would get until the second half as Waxman made five stops in the opening half. In the meantime, Penn drew level just a minute after BU's second goal when Giulia Giordano scored unassisted, and then nearly seven minutes later Lehman gave the Quakers a lead they would not relinqish.

For the complete Penn release, check out Penn Athletic Communications.



Courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications

No. 1 Northwestern Runs By Tigers, 18-11, in NCAA Quarterfinal

Like every other Northwestern opponent during the last four years of the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship, Princeton had no answer for the top-seeded Wildcats Saturday afternoon in an NCAA quarterfinal game at Lakeside Field.

Four Northwestern players scored three times as the Wildcats defeated the No. 8 seed Tigers, 18-11, winning their 14th straight NCAA tournament game in the process and ending Princeton's season one game short of its first final four berth in four seasons.

The Tigers (13-5) trailed just 6-3 with eight minutes to go in the first half, but Northwestern (19-1), the three-time defending NCAA champions, scored five straight goals in a six-minute stretch after that to take a big lead.

"They are the kind of team that's going to make runs like that," said Princeton head coach Chris Sailer. "I thought when we had the ball on offense, we did some nice things, but we didn't have it enough."

"Even if you're able to stop one or two players they have a lot of options," said Princeton senior defender Norris Novak. "It's difficult to stop that when so many players are contributing."

Hilary Bowen, Hannah Nielsen, Katrina Dowd and Casey Donohoe all had three goals for Northwestern; Danielle Spencer and Brooke Matthews both had two. Bowen and Nielsen each had two assists as the Wildcats advanced to a national semifinal game against Syracuse Friday in Towson, Md.

Christine Casaceli, Holly McGarvie and Katie Lewis-Lamonica each had two goals for Princeton, which never got closer than six goals (11-5) in the final 27 minutes of the game. The Tigers were playing in their 11th straight NCAA tournament, the third-longest current streak in Division I.

For the complete Princeton release, check out Princeton Athletic Communications.

- A.S.