No. 14 Women¡¯s Lacrosse to Host Scrimmage Versus No. 11 Cornell
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 14, 2007 ¨C The 2007 version of the Penn State women¡¯s lacrosse team will be unveiled for the first time on Sun., Feb. 18 when the Nittany Lions host No. 11 Cornell in a 12:30 p.m. scrimmage at Holuba Hall.
¡°We are taking a very competitive attitude towards this scrimmage,¡± said Penn State head coach Suzanne Isidor. ¡°Cornell is a strong team. They had a great year last year, winning their conference and advancing to the tournament. They graduated just one player and have a number of returning All-Americans. They will be great competition. We are using it as a tune-up and will finalize some positions on the team. We are really concentrating on our core group and working out all of the kinks, so the following weekend we are ready.¡±
Isidor, entering her seventh season at the helm of the Nittany Lion lacrosse program, returns seven starters from a 2006 squad that finished with an 8-8 overall record and placed second in the American Lacrosse Conference.
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, a force on both ends of the field, 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 tenacious defender who is counted on to shut down opposing teams' top offensive weapon each week.
The Nittany Lion line-up will also be bolstered by the return of midfielder Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.). A highly touted recruit, Shea was quickly fashioning a standout freshman campaign before a leg injury abruptly ended her season. With the loss of top scorers Shari Maslin and Lori Havrilla to graduation, Shea will bring a welcome presence on the offensive end.
Penn State¡¯s place in the preseason rankings was a consensus among the national lacrosse organizations and publications, as polls compiled by the IWLCA, Inside Lacrosse, and Lacrosse magazine all slotted the Nittany Lions at No. 14.
Coming off a 12-4 season, Cornell heads into the 2007 season with high expectations. The return of eight starters and 13 letterwinners, including two All-Americans, four all-region and five All-Ivy selections from the program's first-ever Ivy championship team, lends credence to its air of confidence. Offensively, the Big Red returns its top four scorers and 11 of the top 12 point-scorers. Defensively, three players return from a unit that allowed just 7.6 goals per game, the fourth-best scoring defense in the country a year ago.
The Nittany Lions possess a 6-1-0 record in their all-time series with Cornell. Last year, Penn State topped the Big Red in a preseason scrimmage, however, the border foes haven¡¯t met in the regular season since 2001, a 11-9 decision in favor of Cornell.
Penn State opens regular season play next weekend when Delaware visits Holuba Hall on Sat., Feb. 24 for a 1 p.m. game. The Nittany Lions will be looking to avenge last year¡¯s 15-14 last-second road loss to the Blue Hens.