Women's Lacrosse Set to Face No. 15 Penn in Ivy Semifinal Friday
The Crimson returns to the Ivy Tournament for the third time in program history (Gil Talbot).
Harvard makes its first appearance in the Ivy League tournament since 2012, as the Crimson face No. 15 Penn. The Crimson finished tied for third in the Ivy League at 4-3, while the Quakers own the second seed in the conference tournament after going 6-1 in Ancient Eight games.
Ivy League Tournament Central
Ivy League Digital Network
The four-team tournament will be streamed live in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch games both live and On-Demand from their computers, tablets or smart phones, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard events throughout the duration of their subscription.
Harvard is 1-2 against the Ivy League tournament field this spring, defeating Cornell, but falling to Princeton and Penn.
Since the Ivy League tournament began in 2010, Harvard has advanced to the confernece postseason in 2011 and 2012 to own a 1-2 overall record. In 2011, the Crimson defeated Dartmouth to advance to the final where Harvard fell to Princeton, 12-10. The following season, Harvard dropped its semifinal game to Penn, 9-5.
Scouting the Crimson
Marisa Romeo leads the Ivy League with 3.07 goals per game and is fourth with 3.53 points per contest. Audrey Todd (26-7-33), Alexis Nicolia (21-8-29) and Megan Hennessey (22-7-29) have all eclipsed the 20-point mark in scoring.
Overall, Kelly Weis has made 121 saves and boasts a goals-against average of 9.20, good for fifth in the Ivy League. Marina Burke paces the team with 18 caused turnovers, while Tory Waldstein has 14 takeaways.
As its third-most frequent opponent, the Crimson has seen plenty of the Quakers through the years. The two teams first faced off April 12, 1975 as Penn defeated Harvard, 12-4. In fact, Penn captured the first five meetings between the two teams, to help claim a 24-18 edge in the all-time series. Harvard rattled off 15 straight wins from 1979-1995 to close the gap, but the tide has turned recently as Penn has picked up 17 wins in the last 20 meetings and is unbeaten in the previous 15 match ups.
Scouting the Quakers
Penn, which won its eighth straight Ivy League championship, has compiled a 10-4 ledger and finished Ivy League action with a 6-1 mark. The Quakers are ranked No. 15 in this week's IWLCA poll after topping Cornell, 10-8, to set a new record for consecutive women's lacrosse championships by an Ivy team.
Tory Bensen paces the offense with 41 points (32g, 9a), while Nina Corcoran is second with 39 points (20g, 19a). Lucy Ferguson has stopped 89 shots to turn in a .473 save percentage.
Last Time Out
Despite a 32-19 advantage in shots, the Crimson fell at home to Dartmouth by a score of 9-8 in its regular season finale. Marisa Romeo led Harvard with three points on two goals and one assist, while Chelsey Newman and Megan Hennessey each added two goals. Goalie Kelly Weis recorded seven saves in net for the Crimson.
Related Link: Harvard Women's Lacrosse Suffers Setback to Dartmouth, 9-8, on Senior Night
Harvard is 5-0 after a loss this season, including wins over St. Mary's, Marquette, Yale, Vanderbilt and Boston University. The Crimson – which is looking to rebound after falling to Dartmouth on April 25 – has been impressive, outscoring its opponents by a combined 67-35 coming off a loss.
Sophomore Audrey Todd was named to the All-Ivy First Team. Todd is ranked second on the squad with 33 points (26g, 7a). Freshman Marisa Romeo was tabbed second team All-Ivy, while sophomores Kelly Weis and Isabella Wager earned honorable mention spots.
Harvard in the Postseason
The Crimson is seeking its first berth in the NCAA tournament since 1994. Harvard has qualified for the NCAA postseason nine times, taking home its only national championship in 1990. The Crimson is 7-8 all-time in the NCAA tournament and reached the title game in 1989 and 1992.
With nine wins this season, Harvard has posted its most victories since going 9-7 in 2012. The 2011 squad posted a 10-6 record, the most wins under current head coach Lisa Miller. The program record for most wins in a single season is 18 accomplished by the 1981 squad.
No Place Like Home
Harvard boasted a 5-3 record at home this season with wins over Cornell, Marquette, Vanderbilt, Brown and Boston University. The Crimson went 2-2 against Ivy League foes in Cambridge this year. Harvard was 3-3 at Harvard Stadium and 2-0 at the Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.
With 46 goals and seven assists, Marisa Romeo paces the Harvard offense with 53 points. Audrey Todd (26-7-33), Megan Hennessey (22-7-29), Alexis Nicolia (21-8-29) and Sophia Capone (10-2-12) have also scored double-digit goals.
Freshman Marisa Romeo has tallied at least one point in each of Harvard's 15 games this season. The Syracuse, N.Y., native has scored multiple goals in 13 games. Audrey Todd has registered at least one point in the previous 10 games dating back to March 18, while Alexis Nicolia is also in the midst of a scoring streak (11 games).
The Crimson has led in ground balls in seven games this season, going 6-1 in those contests. Goalie Kelly Weis, who collected a career-high five ground balls against Stanford Feb. 22, leads the team with 34 ground balls this spring. Weis is fourth among Ivy League players, averaging 2.27 ground balls per game.