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Penn is heading to the Women’s Lacrosse National Quarterfinals

The Quakers advance with a 12 – 9 win over the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds

May 12, 2024 –

The next game for the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team is a national quarterfinal, Elite Eight game, at top-seeded Northwestern. The eighth-seeded Quakers advance in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament after defeating Loyola 12-9 at Franklin Field in a team effort.

“We have a saying ‘Penn Pride’ and they showed that today,” said Penn Coach Karin Corbett. “I really felt like they dominated the match. To do that twice this year at Loyola is pretty impressive. That was just a team effort. I’m just so proud of them.”

Several players stand up for red and blue

The Quakers got off to a good start and took a 2-0 lead early in the game. The Greyhounds would remain in contention. The game was tied at halftime, after which Penn would move ahead by a few goals. After three quarters the lead was 7 – 6 in favor of Red and Blue. The game would tilt Penn’s way if they scored four of the next six goals.

What propelled the red and blue were two goals each; Maria Themelis, Niki Miles, Anna Brandt, Catherine Berkerey and Lexi Edmunds. Add Izzy Rohr’s initial career goal. In a true team effort, contributions came from many sources.

“We came in with a game plan where we were going to need all seven of us,” Penn midfielder Anna Brandt said. “It doesn’t matter who puts him in the back of the cage at the end of the set, as long as we generate looks and goals.”

Defend the key

Loyola is a powerful attacking team with an average of 15.8 goals per game and is ranked 8th nationally. Midfielder Chase Boyle scored the most goals in Division I with a total of 83. Their lowest offensive output for the season was 6 against Penn. The 9 goals scored in this match are their second lowest total. The Greyhounds did have more draw controls 17 – 8 and shots 32 – 27. However, that did not translate into goals. Turnovers hampered their offense with 13 miscues to 7. And in goal, Quakers goalkeeper Kelly Van Hoesen saved 12 shots. Penn plays through its defense.

“On the defensive side, we have a saying called, ‘Feel the fear, feel the fear that the offense is playing against,’” Rohr said. “On offense you want to dictate the defense and get them moving, and our goal is to dictate the offense. I think we did a good job, our zone shifted as one.”

Firsts for Rohr

Rohr, the senior defenseman from Malvern, scored her first collegiate goal at the 9:33 mark of the third quarter. She took a pass and ran down the right center of the field and sent a shot past Greyhounds keeper Lauren Spence for a goal. 6 – 4 Quakers lead. Something that hadn’t happened for the tough defender in college.

“I never really wanted to shoot because if I miss, I’m the one who has to run all the way back,” Rohr explained. “Usually not, but my mind went blank and I ran in and no one really slid towards me. It was clear that they were not prepared for me to shoot because I had never done that before. It was just great. It was a great momentum goal. It was really exciting. I am 100% shooting.”

What the numbers say

Brandt led the team with 3 goals, giving her 58 for the season and 136 for her career to rank third in program history. Junior Attack Erica Chung dished out 3 assists. She ranked 13th in the nation in assists and now has 51 total.

For Loyola, Boyle scored twice and assisted twice. She leads the country in goals, now with 85. Junior Attack Georgia Latch has scored three goals for the team and has 62 goals for the year. She assisted with the game. Anna Ruby and Sydni Black each found the back of the net twice. Regan Kielmeyer handed out 2 assists.

The quarterfinal round

Penn travels to Evanston, Illinois to face top-seeded Northwestern on May 16. It will take another team effort, and that is expected by the Red and Blue.

“When we play with Penn Pride, we play as one, everything will be fine,” Brandt said.

“Or Philly Gritty,” Rohr added.

The Quakers didn’t make Ivy Madness two years ago. Last season they faced Boston College in the Sweet 16. Last year’s improved effort will help this year.

“I hope BC’s loss not only fueled this year, but it will also help them go to Northwestern with confidence and no nerves,” Corbett said. “It is clear that we are playing against the national champions. But I do think it was helpful for them to know that they can get along with anyone.

Northwestern is 16 – 4 in games against Penn and has won the previous two meetings. The last was a 17 – 9 win at Penn Park on April 3, 2022. Penn’s last win was at Evanston 10 – 7 on April 2, 2017.

This will be the sixth time Penn has played in a quarterfinal, the last in 2016.

Box score

Written by: Glenn Papazian

Contact: [email protected]

Penn (in white) on defense