Nittany Lion Women's Lacrosse Ranked No. 14 in Three Preseason Polls
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 1, 2007 - The Penn State Women's Lacrosse team will begin the 2007 season ranked No. 14 in the nation, according to the IWLCA Preseason Poll, Inside Lacrosse Preseason Media Poll, and Lacrosse magazine's annual preseason rankings. The Nittany Lions, under seven-year head coach Suzanne Isidor, return 23 letterwinners and seven starters from a team that finished second in the American Lacrosse Conference in 2006.
"I am very excited about the 2007 season," said Isidor. "We had one of our best fall seasons in recent years. This year's team has tremendous leadership and chemistry. The 2007 squad definitely has the talent and the desire to return to the NCAA Tournament and do very well. The key will be approaching each match-up like it's a one-game season. Once again, we are playing a very difficult schedule and have to be ready each day to give our best in order to be successful against such top notch competition."
The 2007 Nittany Lions will be lead by All-American junior midfielder Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) and two-time First Team All-ALC senior Renee Cipro (Ellicott City, Md.). Lieb is Penn State's returning leader in goals, points, ground balls, caused turnovers, and draw controls. Cipro, a tri-captain for the season, is a stout defender who is counted on to shut down opposing teams' top offensive weapon each week.
The Penn State schedule for 2007 features seven teams ranked in the top 11 and nine in the top 20, including two-time defending national champion and preseason No. 1-ranked Northwestern (April 14). The Nittany Lions are no strangers to playing top-ranked teams, as they have faced four in the last two years, winning twice.
The Nittany Lions will also match-up with ACC powers No. 3 North Carolina (April 6), No. 6 Maryland (April 8), and No. 7 Virginia (March 9). Penn State will host the Tar Heels and the Terrapins at Jeffrey Field as part of the ALC/ACC Challenge.
Ivy League heavyweights No. 5 Princeton (March 17), No. 11 Cornell (Feb. 18), and No. 19 Pennsylvania (April 3) are also on the schedule in 2007. Penn State begins the season on Sun., Feb. 18 when it scrimmages The Big Red of Cornell at 12:30 p.m. in Holuba Hall.
In addition to contending with Northwestern for the American Lacrosse Conference championship, the Nittany Lions will be challenged by No. 10 Johns Hopkins (April 27) and No. 20 Vanderbilt (March 25). Penn State began last season with a 9-8 road win over the Commodores and ended it with a 15-14 shootout victory over the then-No. 9 Blue Jays.
The Nittany Lions will open regular season play on Sat., Feb. 24 when they host non-conference foe Delaware at 1 p.m. in Holuba Hall. Penn State will be looking to avenge a last-second 15-14 setback suffered last year in Newark.