#15 Princeton Upends #8 Penn to Earn Ivy Bid

PHILADELPHIA – There is an adage out there that proclaims “All good things must come to an end” and for Penn, that saying became reality on Wednesday night as its 34-game Ivy League winning streak was halted by No. 15 Princeton, 11-7.

The conference winning streak – which was the current longest in the nation and the third-longest in NCAA history – is one of the greatest accomplishments by any Ivy League program in the history of the Ancient Eight. A few notes on just what the Penn women's lacrosse team accomplished from April 22, 2006 until tonight:

• The 34 games without a loss in Ivy League regular-season play was the current active in Ivy League team sports (Cornell wrestling has won 48-consecutive Ivy League dual meets).

• Thanks to research assistance from the Ivy League, only four other winning streaks of 34-or-more games against Ivy League opponents have been found.

• If you are looking for the all-time record for longest consecutive winning streak in Ivy League team sports, that belongs to Penn men's basketball which won 48 Ivy games from 3/7/93-2/3/96.

• The other three streaks of 34+ games are Cornell men's lacrosse from 4/18/73-5/5/79, Harvard women's lacrosse from 3/28/87-3/20/92 and Princeton field hockey from 9/24/94-10/2/99.

* Team sports for the purpose of this streak does not include wrestling, tennis, fencing, track & field, squash, swimming & diving and golf which use individual scores to make up a team score.

The now-longest active winning streak in the Ivy League is Princeton field hockey's 24-gamer. In fact, with Penn's loss tonight, the current active Ivy League women's lacrosse win streak is Harvard's four-game streak. The last team to beat the Crimson inside the Ivy League – the Quakers, which did so March 12 of this year.

The Quakers had their chances to keep the streak alive, with 23 shots to Princeton's 20, but 18 turnovers ultimately derailed any hope of a fifth-consecutive undefeated Ivy League season. Of those 18 turnovers, eight were unforced as Penn seemed to cough up the ball at just the wrong moment.

After the opening 13 minutes saw Princeton take a 3-1 lead, the Quakers made their usually rally to get back in the game as Giulia Giordano looked to make Senior Night special. The tri-captain finished with two goals and an assist in the game, with all of those points coming in a 7:24 span in the first half, when she seemed to will Penn back to tie the game twice. The first deadlock came at 3-3 when after Giordano scored her first on an unassisted strike, Tory Bensen took a Lindsey Smith feed and fired it home with 12:29 left in the half.

The Tigers then scored twice in 43 seconds to retake a two-goal lead, but Giordano did not give way. With 11:18 remaining in the first, Giordano set up Smith for a goal and then the senior took a pass from classmate Lily Posner on a fast break to tie the game once more at 5-5 with 8:18 to play in the opening period.

Princeton recaptured the lead with 6:56 left in the first on a Jaci Gassaway goal, and then added to the lead in the waning moments of the first half when Caroline Rehfuss scored on a free position with 00:29 on the clock.

The situation for Penn was similar to Saturday's game with Dartmouth, a contest Penn also trailed, 6-5, at halftime. On this night, however, the comeback never materialized.

Instead, Princeton scored the first two goals of the half and Penn never was able to move closer than 9-7 with 7:55 to play. Bridget Waclawik and Maddie Poplawski scored twice for Penn to cut the deficit in half, but the Red and Blue were stalled on their final opportunities.

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2011-04-20



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