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Women Seek Ivy Tournament Title in Philadelphia This Weekend

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By Mark Washburn
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Game 15 - Ivy League Tournament Semifinal
Friday, May 4, 2012 - 5 p.m.

#2 Dartmouth Big Green (10-4, 5-2 Ivy) vs.

#3 Cornell Big Red (11-4, 5-2 Ivy)

Location: Philadelphia, Pa. - Dunning-Cohen Champions Field in Penn Park

All-Time Series: Dartmouth, 29-5
First Meeting: April 27, 1980 - W, 18-3 (Home)
Last Meeting: April 7, 2012 - W, 12-10 (Away)
Dartmouth, 5-0

Last Dartmouth Win: Last Meeting

Game 16 - Ivy League Tournament Final*
Sunday, May 6, 2012 - 12 p.m.

#2 Dartmouth Big Green (10-4, 5-2 Ivy) vs.

#1 Penn Quakers (8-6, 6-1 Ivy) OR #4 Harvard Crimson (9-6, 5-2 Ivy)
* - if necessary

Friday, May 4
5 p.m.  -  #2 Dartmouth vs. #3 Cornell

Minimum of 30 minutes between games

8 p.m. - #1 Penn vs. #4 Harvard

Sunday, May 6
12 p.m. - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Live Stats - Live Video - Harvard Preview - Cornell Preview - Penn Preview (Tournament Central) - Championship Information

HANOVER, N.H. - The entire season has built to this weekend's Ivy League Tournament. Schedules were made to mimic its format. Players have practiced all season with these games in mind. Coaches have studied video and prepared game plans all leading up to the chance to be where four Ivy League women's lacrosse teams remain: the conference's postseason tournament.

For Dartmouth, this weekend will serve as a chance to move on from the final two games of the regular season and onto the task at hand: claiming the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament with two wins.

The two-game, four-team tournament will consist of the Big Green, Cornell, Harvard and the hosts from Penn and will get underway with the two semifinal match-ups Friday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the title game set for noon on Sunday.

Dartmouth takes on Cornell in the first game of the weekend Friday, while the Crimson and the Quakers play the second game, scheduled for 8 p.m.


Dartmouth earned the No. 2 seed in the league's tournament with a 5-2 Ivy record and an overall mark of 10-4. The Big Green fell in its last two games of the season to Princeton and Harvard, but a strong season had them in contention for the title throughout the spring.


Dartmouth won its regular-season meeting with the Big Red in Ithaca, 12-10, on April 7. Senior Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) scored five goals and had six points in a key league win. The score was tied 5-5 at half, but an early second-half run of seven of the first eight goals by the Big Green proved to be the difference. The Rig Red staged a late-game push to pull to within two, but the Dartmouth defense held strong in the final moments to earn its fifth Ivy win of the season.

One of the biggest wins of the season for the Big Green came at home on April 14 when they knocked off No. 7 Penn, 9-7. The win was the first against the Quakers in six tries dating back to the 2006 season for the Big Green, who were aided on that day at Scully-Fahey Field by a total-team effort. Senior Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.) scored three times and had five points, while her biggest contribution was five draw controls to break the Dartmouth single-season record. The loss was the only one of the season in conference play for Penn.

Dartmouth wrapped up its regular season with a 7-5 defeat at Harvard last Friday to lock up the No. 2 seed. Harvard's style of play controlled possession and limited the Big Green's offensive opportunities for much of the evening. Dartmouth had stretches where it was able to set up in the offensive zone and take two second-half leads, but the Crimson defense proved too strong in the final minutes, holding off the comeback bid by the visitors for the two-goal victory.

This weekend's postseason marks just the third in league history after beginning during the 2010 season. In just its third year, the Ivy Tournament has now been hosted by Penn each spring since its inception. The Quakers and Big Green are the only two teams to appear in all three with Harvard (2011) and Cornell (2010) each making their second appearance, while defending champion Princeton failed to reach the leagues' final four for the first time.

  • -In 2010, Dartmouth knocked off the Big Red, 10-8, before narrowly being edged by Penn in the championship tilt. Last season, Harvard knocked off the Ivy Co-Champions from Hanover, 11-10, in the first game of the weekend.


Three current members of the Big Green have been honored in the past as members of the all-tournament team. In 2010, Plumb, Goldberg and Kelsey Johnson (Hingham, Mass.) were all tabbed on the inaugural postseason team, while joining teammates Kat Collins and Shannie MacKenzie. Last spring, Plumb made her second appearance on the all-tournament team alongside teammate Greta Meyer, who tied a tournament record with four goals against Harvard.

Despite Penn hosting for the third year in a row, this year's tournament will move across the street from Franklin Field, which has served as the main venue each of the last two seasons, to Dunning-Cohen Champions Field at Penn Park.

Plumb was named the Ivy League Player of the Year Wednesday afternoon, marking the second year in a row that a Dartmouth student-athlete claimed the award. Plumb joins the ranks of Allison Barlow (1986), Lauren Holleran (1995), Jacque Weitzel (2000), Suzy Gibbons (2001), Katieanne Christian (Co-Player of the Year, 2005) and Collins (2011) as the seventh Dartmouth player in program history to be recognized as the best in the Ivy League over the course of a year.

Already the owner of several draw control records, Plumb's four against Harvard last week gave her one more. The Dartmouth senior co-captain now owns the Ivy League single-season record with 71, breaking the 17-year old mark of 67 set by Princeton's Abigail Gutstein (1995) with whom she was tied entering the game. Plumb already owns the program and Ivy League record for draws in a career with 145, but added to her resume by locking up all four draw controls marks for a season and a career, while her nine in a game earlier this season against BU ranks as the second-best figure in league history.

With two points against the Crimson, Plumb closed out the regular season leading the Big Green in scoring with 44 points on 33 goals and a team-best 11 assists. Goldberg was also a formidable threat to score at any moment, finishing just a point back of Plumb with 43 on 33 goals and 10 assists. This marks the third year in a row that the team's top two players each had 30 or more goals as Meyer and current senior Sarah Parks (Ellicott City, Md.) had 35 and 32, respectively, in 2010, while Meyer and Collins scored 34 and 33, respectively, a season ago.

The Dartmouth defense is anchored by its sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello (Old Brookville, N.Y.) and her 9.12 goals-against average and .464 save percentage, both of which rank second in the league this season. Her 7.43 saves per game ranks third, but is all the more impressive by the fact that the defensive unit in front of her allowed opponents to attempt just 22 shots per game on the sophomore goalkeeper.

The Big Green enter the weekend ranked 13th in the most recent IWLCA Coaches Poll and 11th by the DeBeers Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Dartmouth has been ranked inside the top 17 all season by the coaches, reaching as high as the No. 8 spot two weeks ago, while the media had the team ranked as high as sixth earlier this month. Dartmouth is one of just five programs from across the nation to be ranked at least once each season since the coach's poll began in 1988. This year's senior class has never seen a week go by where their team was ranked outside the top 20 in the county.

The Big Green were on the cusp of a 12th Ivy League title this season and cracked the nation's top 10 in both polls, but managed just two individual weekly honors from the league office as Giovanniello twice claimed the Defensive Player of the Week award in 2012. Plumb, the league's Player of the Year, failed to win a weekly award from the league office, but was named a nominee for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the nation's top player. Her single-game performance against Duke also earned her Division I National Player of the Week honors.

Dartmouth had five players named to the 2012 All-Ivy Teams as announced by the league office Wednesday afternoon. Plumb was unanimously named to the first team with Goldberg, Giovanniello, Hilary Smith (Bronxville, N.Y.) and Georgia Bird (Summit, N.J.) all earned spots on the league's second team. Goldberg had twice been named an All-Ivy Honorable Mention player, but this was her first appearance on one of the top two teams. Smith and Bird also earned their first league accolades, while Giovanniello picked up her second and Plumb earned her third overall and second First Team All-Ivy selection.