Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/5/14
From Press Releases
The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team will host its first NCAA Championship game since 1988 on Sunday, and what a choice the NCAA selection committee gave them for that first-round game.
Neighborhood rival Drexel will be the Quakers’ opponent in a game that will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. Fans who can’t make it to Franklin Field can watch the game live on ESPNU.
Penn — which earned the fourth of eight seeds in the 18-team field — and Drexel have met 29 times previously, with the Quakers holding a 21-8 lead in the series. Don’t put much credence in that, though, as the teams have met just twice since 1994 (in 2008 and 2009).
The game will also mark a return to Franklin Field for Drexel head coach Brian Voelker, who left his head coaching position at Penn following that 2009 season and made the move to the Dragons. Mike Murphy, of course, replaced Voelker here at Penn.
Sunday’s game will be the fifth NCAA game that Penn has hosted at Franklin Field. In addition to that 1988 game (a 12-9 Penn win over Loyola in a quarterfinal), the Quakers have also hosted games in 1977 (14-12 quarterfinal loss to Navy); 1984 (8-7 quarterfinal loss to Army); and 1987 (11-10 first-round win over UMass).
Penn is 11-3 and has won eight games in a row, the most since the 1988 team won eight straight before an NCAA semifinal loss to Syracuse. The Quakers won their first Ivy League Tournament title on Sunday afternoon, defeating No. 1 seed and host Harvard 7-5 at Harvard Stadium.
The Dragons earned their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance by defeating Hofstra in the CAA title game, 11-10, in triple overtime. Freshman Cole Shafer was the hero, ending the marathon affair 43 seconds into the third extra session. It was the second straight overtime win for Drexel, who defeated Towson by the same 11-10 score in the CAA semifinals. The Dragons are now 12-4 on the season.
Overall, Penn has made 12 NCAA Championship appearances, the most recent coming under Murphy in 2011 when the Quakers fell in the first round at Notre Dame, 13-6.