No. 15 Women's Lacrosse to Host Scrimmage Versus Cornell
Feb. 15, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2008 edition of the Penn State women's lacrosse team will be in action for the first time on Sun., Feb. 17 when the Nittany Lions host Cornell in a 1:30 p.m. scrimmage at Holuba Hall.
"We're excited about the season's prospects," said head coach Suzanne Isidor, who is entering her eighth season at the helm of the Penn State program. "I think the fall was very successful. We showed that we have a lot of depth, which is different from last year. We have a great mix of senior leadership and young talent. We are looking for production from our junior class. They have gotten a lot of experience in practice the last two years and now it is time for them to shine under the game spotlight."
Isidor returns 22 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2007 squad that finished with a 9-8 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural American Lacrosse Conference Tournament. An offseason of dogged recruiting produced the nation's No. 9-ranked freshman class, according to Inside Lacrosse magazine.
The 2008 Nittany Lions will be led by co-captains Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) and Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.). Despite missing part or all of Penn State's final five games in 2007 due to injury, Lieb earned First Team IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-West/Midwest Region honors for the second straight season. A two-time First Team All-ALC selection, Lieb was a force for the Nittany Lions on both ends of the field a year ago, ranking among team leaders in goals (26), assists (13), points (39), ground balls (32), and caused turnovers (19). In 2007, in just her second season in Happy Valley, Shea earned Second Team IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-West/Midwest Region and All-ALC honors. A speedy and aggressive midfielder, she ended the 2007 season as the Nittany Lions' leading goal scorer (27) and finished tied for second on the team in draw controls (23) and ground balls (32) and third in points (35).
Sophomores Mary LeNoir, Maria Valderas, and Erica Mihm, who combined for 32 starts and 34 points as freshmen, will be counted on to add further punch to the Penn State offense in 2008.
The senior trio of Linsey Shea (Baltimore, Md.), Lindsay Hagemann (Watertown, N.Y.), and Christine Buttle (Northport, N.Y.) headline the Penn State defense. They have combined to play in 101 games during their Nittany Lion careers. Eleven-year Cornell head coach Jenny Graap returns 14 letterwinners and nine starters from last season's 5-10 squad, but the Big Red are just two years removed from an Ivy League Championship. Cornell is a young team with 18 of its players 30 listed as freshmen or sophomores. The Big Red is led by senior tri-captains Noelle Dowd, Charlotte Schmidlapp, and Katherine Simmons. Dowd earned her first All-Ivy accolade a season ago as an honorable mention pick in the midfield. She ranked second on the team in scoring (37 points) and placed third in both goals (29) and assists (8). Schmidlapp enters her final season as a two-year starter and is one of the most skilled attackers in the Ivy League. A first-team All-Ivy pick in 2006 and 2007, Simmons is a two-time first-team IWLCA all-region selection who lead the team in ground balls (35) and caused turnovers (19) in 2007.
The Nittany Lions hold a 6-1-0 record in their all-time series with Cornell. In 2007, Penn State topped the Big Red in a preseason scrimmage, 5-4, however, the border rivals have met just once in the regular season in the last 32 years.
Penn State opens regular season play next weekend when it visits Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game with Temple University on Sat., Feb. 23. A year ago, the Nittany Lions, behind hat tricks from Karen Long, Lindsay Dutch, and Kerry Shea, overpowered the Owls, 17-5, in Holuba Hall.