Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/6/12
Sunday started out on a down note for Penn with a tough loss to Dartmouth in the 2012 Ivy League Tournament Final. However, as the day came to a close there was reason for celebration as the Quakers were awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships.
The Red and Blue will make their sixth consecutive trip to the national tournament and start their path to a national title at Loyola (MD) next weekend for a 1 p.m. game on May 13.
Penn is making its eighth overall trip to the NCAA Championships and second as an at-large selection in the last two seasons. Penn is 9-7 overall in NCAA Championships games, with trip to the final weekend of competition three times since 2007. Last year, Penn was defeated by No. 5 seed Duke, 12-9, in Durham.
“We are excited to have another week together as a team,” All-Ivy goalkeeper Emily Leitner said. “We realize the opportunity we have now with this chance to make a run and it is something we need to capitalize on.”
This will be the second time Penn and Loyola (MD) will meet in the NCAA Championships, but the first since 1983. The Quakers defeated the Greyhounds, 9-5, in the 1983 first round for Penn’s first-ever win in the NCAA Championships.
The Quakers claimed a sixth consecutive Ivy League regular season championship this season with a 6-1 record in Ivy play. They enter the tournament with a 9-7 overall record, but have played one of the toughest schedules in the country with all seven losses coming at the hands of teams ranked inside the top-13 at the time of the meeting. The Quakers boast an RPI of No. 14 and with the fifth-highest strength of schedule in the country.
Loyola recently won its second consecutive BIG EAST Tournament championship and enter the tournament with a 12-5 overall record.
2012 NCAA First Round Matchups
#1 Florida vs. Albany
#2 Northwestern vs. Notre Dame
#3 Maryland vs. Massachusetts
#4 Syracuse vs. Dartmouth
#5 North Carolina vs. Navy
#6 Loyola (MD) vs. PENN
#7 Duke vs. Virginia
#8 Towson vs. Penn State, Saturday, 3 p.m.
West Chester makes field
The championship provides for a six-team tournament. Two first-round games will be conducted May 12 at campus sites. Winners of the first-round games will advance to the semifinals to play the No.1-seeded teams and final, to be played May 17 and 19 at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky as part of the Division II Festival. Bellarmine will serve as host for the championship.
In the South region, the No. 3-seed West Chester will play No. 2 seed Limestone, which will serve as host. The winner will advance to play Le Moyne, the No. 1 seed from the South region.
In the North region, the No. 3 seed, C.W. Post, will play No. 2 Adelphi, with C.W. Post serving as host. The winner will advance to play Rollins, the No. 1 seed from the North region.
Cabrini plays at Gettysburg
CSCAC champion Cabrini (10-8) will play in the first round of the Division III tourney at Gettysburg (17-1), the Centennial Conference champion, at 3 p.m.