No. 14 Women¡¯s Lacrosse to Open 2007 Season at Home Versus Delaware
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. In the recently released 2007 ALC Preseason Coaches Poll, Penn State was selected to place third, behind two-time defending national championship Northwestern and No. 10 Johns Hopkins.
The 2007 Nittany Lions will be headlined by junior midfielder Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) and 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 tough defender who is counted on to shut down opposing teams' top offensive weapon each week.
The talents and exploits of Lieb and Cipro have not gone unnoticed by college coaches and the national media, as they have garnered several preseason awards. After each earning First Team All-ALC honors in 2006, the duo has been named to the 2007 ALC Preseason All-Conference team. For the second consecutive year, Lieb and Cipro have been honored on the Tewaaraton Trophy Preseason Watch List. Finally, Inside Lacrosse selected them to its Preseason All-American team with Lieb making the first team and Cipro receiving second team honors.
The Nittany Lions got their first exposure to live game action in 2007 last weekend when they faced No. 11 Cornell in a scrimmage at Holuba Hall. Penn State prevailed, 11-6, with Jessi Lieb leading the way with three goals. Senior Karen Long (Ellicott City, Md.) added two goals and an assist. Sophomores Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.), each made a triumphant return from an injury suffered last season, combining for three scores. Goalkeeper Cammie Jurkowsky (Annapolis, Md.) had a solid debut, notching 11 saves.
Three-year Delaware head coach Kim Ciarrocca welcomes back three of the Blue Hens¡¯ top five goal scorers and 15 letterwinners from a team that posted a 5-12 record a year ago. Included in that group of returnees is 2006 Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie selections Stacey McPartland and Debbie Sloan and leading scorer Casey McCrudden (38 goals, 46 points). Sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Cerveny, who was fifth in the CAA with 7.81 saves per game and fifth with a .425 save percentage, will spearhead the Delaware defense.
Penn State possesses a 21-6-0 record in its all-time series with Delaware. A year ago, the Blue Hens upset the Nittany Lions in Newark, 15-14, scoring the game-winner with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. The teams last met in University Park in 2005, a 15-6 Penn State victory at Jeffrey Field.
Fans attending the game will be able to acquire the 2007 Penn State Women¡¯s Lacrosse team poster, featuring the complete season schedule and action photos of all of the seniors. The Damon¡¯s Lucky Program contest will also be held, giving fans the opportunity to win a gift certificate to Damon¡¯s Grill.
The Nittany Lions remain at home for their next contest, a 1 p.m. match-up with regional opponent Bucknell on Wed., Feb. 28 in Holuba Hall. Penn State owns a perfect 11-0-0 all-time record versus the Bison, including last season¡¯s 19-5 rout in Lewisburg.