History will be made

In case you haven't heard, the women's lacrosse team is the No. 1 seed in the Ivy Tournament. And since Franklin Field will be occupied by the Heps track meet this weekend, the lacrosse tournament will be held at Penn Park. If you're into being a part of history, I suggest heading down to Dunning-Cohen Champions Field (former home of the Bubble... I mean, seasonal air structure) at 5pm Friday, where you will witness the first ever varsity game on the field (it's Dartmouth versus Cornell). If you want to see the second varsity game on the turf at Penn Park, wait until 8pm when Penn takes on Harvard

Tickets are $10 for students, but Penn Athletics has put together a nice deal. The team is on Locust Walk today until 2pm and tomorrow from 11-2 giving tickets to anyone who can score on a goal. Apparently it's pretty easy, so save yourself the money and take a shot!

The winners of Friday's games will face off in the championship round Sunday at noon, also at Dunning-Cohen. Definitely check it out.

Ticket info: If you can't get free tickets, Friday's tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. It's $10 and $5 on Sunday, and the weekend costs $20 for adults and $10 for students. 

Waxman in the HOF

Sadly, I missed out on the men's basketball team's 2OT thriller with Delaware because I drove down to my native Maryland for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Sports Hall of Fame's Dinner of Champions. While I was there because my brother Harris (who will be pitching for Lehigh next year) received an award given out to some of the top area Jewish high school athletes, a nice bonus was getting to see the induction of former Penn lacrosse goalie Sarah Waxman into the Greater Washington DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Waxman - the national Goalkeeper of the Year in 2007 and 2008 - now joins the DC area's most notable Jewish sports figures in the Hall of Fame, including former Boston Celtics head coach Red Auerbach, Tampa Bay Lightning center Jeff Halpern, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, and legendary sportswriter Shirley Povich. Sportswriter/former MNF sportscaster/television personality/radio host Tony Kornheiser (also a member of the Hall) sponsored her admission, and even gave her a shoutout on Pardon the Interruption on Friday.

Waxman made a nice speech, noting her unique position as a Jewish athlete on Penn's campus. She described educating her teammates about the rules regarding what food is kosher and the discussions that ensued. Waxman noted that the three components to the induction, "DC," "Jewish," and "sports" were all things she took great pride in and so she was thrilled to be honored.

Random Ivy notes for 7/16

1) Thanks to reader Will, vote for the Palestra over "The Pit," which is the University of New Mexico's stadium on CBS Sports' "Arena Wars."

2) Right as Penn's M. Lax coach is leaving, the W. Lax team is gaining coaches, as former standout Melissa Lehman will return to the team as an assistant coach. As a senior she was second on the team in scoring during the team's run to the 2008 NCAA Championship game.

3) The Ivy League has five preseason All-American FCS selections, and Penn's K Andrew Sansom is on the first team. CB Chris Wynn made the second team.

4) The info isn't really that noteworthy, but the headline and image of this CBB post grabbed my attention. However, I advise you to vote on the right-hand side for who you think the biggest challenger to Cornell is.

Random Ivy notes for 6/26

1) After renovating Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, St. Joe's will move back into the facility -- to be renamed the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena -- after playing its home games at the Palestra last season. Right next to the expanded arena will be a new 20,000 square-foot basketball facility, named after legendary coach Jack Ramsay.The dedication ceremony of the facility is today.

Dr. Jack -- he received a Ph.D in education from Penn in 1963 -- coached high school, college and pro basketball, including an 11-year stint with the Hawks. He also led the Trailblazers to their only NBA championship in 1977. In 1992 he became enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and now does color commentary for ESPN Radio.

Take a look at an exclusive interview Ramsay gave me back in March 2008.

2) Following up on Noah's NBA draft post, Philly Hoops Insider has a breakdown of Philadelphia area prospects that were drafted last night. A quick rundown: three players who played high school ball in the area were drafted in the first round (Tyreke Evans, Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington) while two Big 5 players were drafted in the second round (Dante Cunningham and Amhad Nivins).

3) The U.S. women's lacrosse team will play in the finals of the FIL World Cup tomorrow, as it dispatched England, 20-3, yesterday. Although no Penn players past or present are on the team, there is a solid Ivy League contingent.

Random Ivy notes for 6/6

1) The final women's lacrosse media and coaches poll came out earlier this week, and despite losing in the semifinals, Penn was voted second in both polls. The Quakers edged out actual runner up North Carolina in both polls, while Northwestern unsurprisingly was unanimously voted No. 1.

2) Brown became the second Ivy to officially announce their incoming men's basketball freshmen class. (Columbia was the first). The Bears nabbed two McDonald's All-American nominees, as well as current forward Peter Sullivan's younger brother. Guess some Ivy League hoopsters like to play with their brothers not against them. (Via CBB).

3) Today's the 65th anniversary of D-Day, in case you forgot. It's also the birthday of rising sophomore soccer defender Nick Unger. (Yeah I was desperate for a thrid item).

Updated: Random Ivy notes for 6/1

Update: going along with the lax awards, freshman shortstop Derek Vigoa was named the Big 5 Baseball Rookie of the Year today.

1) It's postseason awards time for women's lacrosse, and Penn has done well so far. The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Associatoin revealed their All-America and All-Region teams last week, and Penn had two first team All-Americans, juniors Emma Spiro and Ali DeLuca. In addition, junior Courtney Lubbe and senior Becca Edwards were named to the first and second Mid-Atlantic Region teams, respectively. Ironically, Penn had one more first team All-American than national champion Northwestern.

2) Of course, that one selection for Northwestern was Hannah Nielsen, quite possibly the best player ever. She solidified herself as one of the game's greats with her second-straight Tewaaraton Trophy.

3) With spring sports almost all but over (rowing is still going), it's never too early to look towards football season (only 110 days left till the opener versus Villanova!). But before looking ahead, The Harvard Crimson looks back on last year's Ivy Champion.

4) Here are some other recaps of the past year in Ivy League sports (sorry some of these are old): The Brown Daily Herald has a standard review; The Daily Princetonian names a female and male Athlete of the Year; The Columbia Spectator sports page has an article on each team as well as senior writer columns; The Cornell Daily Sun picks the top 25 senior athletes, naming quarterback and third baseman Nathan Ford the Cornell Player of the Year.

W. Lax follow up

On Sunday Northwestern destroyed North Carolina, 21-7, to clinch its fifth-straight NCAA title. They're still two titles away from tying Maryland's streak from 1995-2001. The game saw a record for margin of victory in a championship game, as well as a tie for most total goals. Katrina Dowd finished with four goals for Northwestern, pushing her record for most goals in a tournament to 22.

Here's a very interesting write up of the game by Michael Wilbon. For those that don't know, the Washington Post writer and ESPN personality is a Northwestern alum and has a cousin/goddaughter on the Wildcats lacrosse team. For him, seeing NU win the national championship Sunday was the first time he'd ever seen his alma mater win a championship in any sport.

As for Penn, they earned two All-Tournament selections, Katie Mazer and Ali DeLuca. It should be noted, that in each of the previous two years senior defense Hilary Renna was an All-Tournament selection. However, this year she was declared ineligible for the Final Four.

Previews, Previews, Previews

In case you haven't heard, there's a big game today at 6 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.

So here is  a bevy of preview material before No. 4 Penn (15-2) faces No. 1 Northwestern (21-0) in the Division I Women's Lacrosse Final Four. First, here is my own preview article. The Daily Northwestern does not have a normal preview of the match, but it does have a good profile of Hilary Bowen, who injured her anterior cruciate ligament in early April, yet recovered to play against Princeton last Saturday and will get some playing time today.

Here is The Philadelphia Daily News' preview, focusing on Penn seniors Becca Edwards and Kaitlyn Lombardo. Meanwhile Philip Hersh, of the The Chicago Tribune, continues his adoration of NU's Hannah Nielsen, asking if the Australian is the greatest women's lacrosse player of all time.

Here are some basic breakdowns of both the Penn-NU matchup and the second semifinal between No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 North Carolina: Inside Lacrosse, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post.

Of course, both Athletic Departments have their own preview materials. Penn's standard preview is here, and there are a lot of other good items on the W. Lax homepage. Northwestern has a standard preview.

In terms of following the game, you have several options. First, I'll have a live blog here on The Buzz (note: that link won't be live until later today). For a look back at last year's two Final Four live blogs, here's the semifinal against Duke (gets pretty crazy towards the end of the game) as well as the more somber Northwestern National Championship game. Also,  the game will be televised on CBS College Sports for those that get it. Finally, Brian Seltzer and Mike Mahoney will have a live audio stream on Penn Athletics' website.

W. Lax postseason honors

As the only spring sport to win an Ivy League title, it was pretty obvious that the women's lacrosse team was going to pick up some All-Ivy selections.

Well the league announced the All-Ivy teams today, and Karin Brower's squad was well represented.

Junior midfield Emma Spiro shared Player of the Year honors with Princeton's Holly McGarvie, as both were unanimous first-team selections. In addition, Penn had three other first teamers, including unanimous selection Hilary Renna. The senior defense made her third-straight All-Ivy team (two years ago she got first team, last year second). The final two Quakers on the first team were junior midfield Ali DeLuca (who was on it last year) and DeLuca's classmate Courtney Lubbe.

In addition to grabbing a share of the top player award, Penn earned its second Ivy Rookie of the Year in three years as freshman midfield Erin Brennan was unanimously named R.O.Y.  DeLuca also unanimously won it, doing so in 2007. Like DeLuca in her freshman year, Brennan was named to the second team.

On the second team Penn also had senior attack Becca Edwards while junior defense Kaileigh Wright received honorable mention.

The noticeable absence was goalkeeper Emily Szelest who leads the country with 5.35 goals allowed per season and is 23rd in the nation (second in the Ivy) with a .497 save percentage.

Besides the absence of Szelest, the results did a good job of mirroring the DP's All-Penn selections (see page B1).  We gave Brennan Penn Rookie of the Year and debated between DeLuca and Spiro for first team, but in the end went with Spiro, while giving DeLuca a spot on the second team.