This is part of a continuing series counting down the top 20 stories in Philly Lacrosse in 2009
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/1/10
A dramatic comeback may have failed, but once again the Penn women’s lacrosse team stamped its mark on a brilliant season.
The Quakers made their third straight appearance in the NCAA Division I Final Four in 2009 and faced a monumental challenge in four-time defending champion Northwestern.
The No. 1 Wildcats were 22-0 and a clear-cut favorite to repeat. But the Quakers, the only team to have beaten Northwestern in the past two years, refused to back down.
The ‘Cats went up, 11-7, but Penn stormed back with four unanswered goals and sent it into overtime on a clutch tally by Samantha Bird with 1:30 in regulation.
Penn scored first in overtime when freshman Erin Brennan put the Quakers up 12-11 with 10 seconds left in the first half of the extra session. However, as time expired, the Wildcats were able to flick the ball in and tie the game at 12-12 heading into the second frame of OT.
Senior Meredith Frank then scored her third goal of the game with 1:31 remaining in the second overtime to win it for Northwestern, which went on to claim its fifth straight crown by breezing past North Carolina.
In Division III, Franklin & Marshall claimed its second national title in three years by handing Salisbury an 11-10 overtime defeat in the finals. F&M senior Jen Pritchard, a Penncrest graduate, was named the 2009 Division III Women’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Year.
A three-time All-American, Pritchard left Lancaster with her name at the top of most of the Diplomats’ scoring records. She ended her career having scored in 69 consecutive games, an NCAA record. She scored in 83 of her 84 career games.
She scored 268 times in her career, 47 more times than the previous record holder. She wrapped her career with 320 total points, resetting that school record as well. She has the NCAA record for career goals in the tournament (53) and in a single tournament (19 in 2007).
“I still say that with everything that I’ve done, I could not have done it without my teammates,” Pritchard said. “Goals-wise, most of them have been assisted. If they didn’t put the ball in the air for me I would not have scored them. All-around, you can’t beat 11 girls with just one person. It was a total team effort.”