February 9, 2011

NCAA Preview: No. 8 Penn

by Justin Feil | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

The February issue of Lacrosse Magazine features an extensive NCAA lacrosse preview, from Division I through Division III, plus in-depth features on the top-ranked Syracuse men and the snake-bitten Cal women. Lacrosse Magazine Online (laxmagazine.com) examines the key players, strengths, weaknesses, best- and worst-case scenarios, sleepers, what's new, what's not and rival coaches' takes on each of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I men's and women's lacrosse.

MEN: 10 COR | 9 HOF | 8 DUKE | 7 UND | 6 PTON | 5 MD | 4 SB | 3 UNC | 2 UVA | 1 CUSE
WOMEN: 10 UND | 9 JMU | 8 PENN | 7 UVA | 6 GTOWN | 5 CUSE | 4 DUKE | 3 UNC | 2 NW | 1 MD

NO. 8 PENN

Defender Lily Posner is one of just five seniors on a "young and feisty" Penn women's lacrosse team.

© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

Head Coach: Karin Brower Corbett
Conference: Ivy League
2010 Records: 15-4, 7-0
2011 Opener: Thursday, Feb. 26 vs. Drexel | Schedule

KEY PLAYERS

A Erin Brennan (Jr.)
Third-team AA in '10, production is expected to go up for a third straight season but the lefty will face increased scrutiny from opposing teams. Said Corbett: "She's a great challenger and finisher."

M Giulia Giordano (Sr.)
Has started 52 straight games. Led the Quakers in ground balls (35), caused turnovers (29) and tied for Ivy lead in game-winning goals (6). Said Corbett: "She plays her best in the big games."

D Carolyn Pollard (Sr.)
The Quakers will rely on leadership from Pollard, who played midfield last year when Spiro was injured, but returned to boost last year's fourth-ranked defense in the country.

STRENGTHS

• Offense has firepower to complement Brennan and Giordano
• Increased depth and speed make midfield dangerous

WEAKNESSES

• Graduated midfielders DeLuca and Spiro were underrated on defense
• Relying on unproven players in key spots

BEST CASE

Brennan and Giordano ignite a dynamic offense, Leitner is sensational in goal and the Quakers hold off hard-charging Dartmouth for the Ivy championship.

WORST CASE

Its Ivy League winning streak and the conference crown are lost as Penn experiences growing pains.

SLEEPER

G Emily Leitner (Jr.)
Leitner hasn’t made a start yet, but came off the bench to earn the win in the Ivy League Tournament title game. “She’s a natural leader,” Corbett said. “She’s a spark plug on the defense.”

RIVAL COACH'S TAKE

"This Quaker squad will be young and feisty, but ready to make their mark in the run for the national title."

WHAT'S NEW?

Kerri Whitaker. The winningest head coach in Columbia history joins a Penn coaching staff that lost two top assistants in two years.

WHAT'S NOT?

The Quakers have been ranked in the nation’s top five for scoring defense for the last four seasons.

2006

The last time Penn lost to an Ivy League opponent, an 8-7 defeat at Princeton on April 19 of that year.


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