Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/20/09
Penn women’s lacrosse coach Karin Brower was named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
The Quakers (15-3) were undefeated through the majority of the season and ranked at No. 3 during that time. After dropping back-to-back games, the Red and Blue entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, but No. 5 in the polls. Penn battled through the first and second rounds and clinched its third consecutive final four berth with a dramatic overtime win over Duke in the quarterfinal.
The heart-stopping action didn’t end there. In the semifinal game, the Quakers were down four goals to the four-time national champion, Northwestern, with only six and a half minutes to play. A free position goal from Samantha Bird cut the deficit and then with three minutes to play, the Quakers rattled off three more goals to the tie game and push overtime. Though rookie Erin Brennan scored in the overtime period, Northwestern answered and then closed the door on Penn with a goal in the sudden death period.
That performance, along with a solid season dominating opponents thanks to the nation’s leading defense, the Quakers were unanimously selected as the No. 2 team in the 2009 season’s final polls.
In 2000, Brower took over a struggling Penn program that had gone 1-12 the year before. Steady improvement has marked her tenure since, culminating with three straight Ivy League titles and appearances at championship weekend.
Other regional winners included Fairfield’s Mike Waldvogel (Northeast Region), Cathy Reese of Maryland (South Region) and Northwestern’s Kelly Amonte Hiller who represented the West/Midwest Region and was also named the Division I national coach of the year after leading her team to its fifth consecutive national title.