April 17, 2013

Penn Claims Record Seventh Straight Ivy Title

from press release

PHILADELPHIA – It was everything a Penn-Princeton game for an Ivy League title should be. In a game which never had a lead of more than two goals and was tied five times, Penn went to one of its blossoming stars in overtime and Shannon Mangini delivered the game-winning goal in a 10-9 win for the Quakers to secure at least a share of a seventh consecutive Ivy League championship.

The win rewrites the Penn records books. The Quakers have extended their nation-best consecutive conference championship streak to seven years in a row. In the process, women's lacrosse has set a new record for consecutive Ivy titles by a women's program at Penn, breaking a tie with women's fencing (1982-83 to 1987-88) and moved into a tie for second among all Penn athletic programs. The Red and Blue are also now tied with the 1987-93 Harvard women's lacrosse teams for the longest run of Ivy titles in League history.

Another positive result from the win? The Quakers will host the Ivy League Tournament at Franklin Field on May 3 and May 5. Penn is the only school to host the Ancient Eight's postseason tournament, earning the top seed all four years.

The Quakers would not be in this position without a resilient game symbolic of their entire season. The Red and Blue did not lead until there was 21:29 to play in the game, and found themselves down by a pair of goals with 12:36 to play. A 2-0 run over the game's final 6:16 was needed to force overtime, Mangini foreshadowing her game-winning heroics with the tying goal at the 57:44 mark.

In overtime, Mangini had the ball in her stick multiple times. She drew a total of three free positions, needing the third one to break the tie. The first two eight-meter attempts were from bad angles, and Mangini made the right decision to pass up the shot twice. On the first, she stepped back and swung the ball around, eventually finding herself back where she started and was fouled. On the ensuing free position, she fed McKenzie Hunt whose shot was saved by Caroline Franke. Princeton cleared and had a chance to score in the waning seconds of the first three-minute period, but the Tigers turned the ball over with four seconds to go.

In the second three-minute stretch of overtime, Meg Markham won her only draw of the night to give Penn possession. The Quakers forced the issue, drawing a shooting space foul for Mangini to again attempt a free position. This one was from center hash and the junior scored her fourth free position of the game.

Princeton won the ensuing draw, giving itself a chance to tie. The Tigers waited for the perfect shot, and Liz Bannatine took one from 15 yards out and Lucy Ferguson came up with the biggest of her seven saves to keep Penn in the lead.

The game would not have been in overtime if not for Ferguson's sixth save of the night. In her first Penn-Princeton game, Ferguson was clutch as can be, denying Sarah Lloyd with four seconds left in regulation to preserve the 9-9 tie.

Penn found itself down, 2-0, just over six minutes into the game as Princeton maintained early possession. It took 4:51 for the Tigers to score their first goal, but Alexandra Bruno (free position) and Erin McMunn scored 1:25 apart to spot the Tigers the first of their two-goal leads.

The Quakers stormed back into the game with two goals in a span of 17 seconds. Meredith Cain scored Penn's first goal on an assist from Meg Markham before Caroline Bunting took a Nina Corcoran pass after Cain won the draw to tie the game for the first time.

McMunn would answer for the Tigers on the man-advantage midway through the first half, a goal countered by Bunting's second of the game as the two co-Ivy Offensive Players of the Week last week engaged in a scoring showdown of their own. Bunting's goal was the mark of a true goal-scorer, top corner and on the fly from the near hash.

Mary-Kate Sivilli and Sarah Lloyd would combine to give Princeton a 5-3 lead with 1:30 to play in the first half, but again the Quakers scored quickly off the draw to enter the second half with momentum. This time, it was Cain who scored needing just 22 seconds after Lloyd's goal to get one back for the Red and Blue.

Shannon Mangini would score the first of her three goals 2:39 into the second half, the first of four ties in the final 30 minutes. Goals were quick to come by in the opening minutes of the second frame, Princeton retaking the lead 32 seconds later and Penn tying the game again on a Bunting snipe 5:31 into the second half.

Freshman Catherine Dickinson would give Penn its first lead of the game 38:31 into the night, driving and ducking her way through traffic for her third goal of the season to make the score 7-6 in favor of the Quakers.

After a Tigers' timeout, Princeton would score the next three goals to take their final two-goal lead of the night. Erin Slifer had two of the three goals, including the ninth Princeton goal of the game on a free position while the Tigers were on the man-up with 12:36 to play.

Princeton won the next draw, but a Ferguson save with 9:25 to play gave Penn a chance to get back in the game. Penn took the games' next five shots, scoring on the final two of that run in a span of 1:06 to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Penn improves to 8-4 overall this season and is 8-1 over its last nine games – the only loss at No. 1 Maryland. The Quakers are now 3-0 in overtime this season, including a pair of overtime Ivy League wins as the Red and Blue move to 6-0 in Ivy play

Penn outshot Princeton, 26-19 in the game, Caroline Bunting leading all players with eight shots.

Maddie Poplawski shared the game-high in draw controls with four, setting a new Ivy League record for career draw controls in the process. She now has 166 draw controls, surpassing the old mark of 163 which was held by Dartmouth's Taylor Gattinella (2009-12).

A key for Penn was how protective it was with the ball. The Red and Blue committed just seven turnovers – including only one in the first half – a season-low.

Penn finishes the Ivy League portion of the regular season at Brown on Saturday at 12 p.m.


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