By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Penn women’s lacrosse team has become a big player on the national stage the last several years, turning into a dominant force in the Ivy League and a regular in the NCAA Tournament.  In fact, since 2007, they have advanced to two national semifinals and a national championship game.  You don’t build a special program without special players, and one of those special players for Penn is senior attack Erin Brennan.

A two-time first team All-Ivy selection, Brennan was a second-team All-America selection after her junior season.  She is in line for many more accolades after this senior campaign as she leads the Quakers in scoring with 46 points.

The New York state native says lacrosse has been a big part of her life for a long time.

“My brother is two years older, Gavin, and I always used to follow him around and did all his sports.  And my town, Garden City, it’s a really big lacrosse town so I just literally started in second grade and loved it ever since and kind of knew this is what I wanted to do in college.”

Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Erin Brennan:

Brennan has had success since she arrived in University City.  As she heads down the home stretch of her career, she sits 3rd all-time in points, 3rd in goals and 2nd in assists in Penn history.  She says it’s more than natural talent that has allowed her to have such a wonderful career.

“I think I’m a very smart player,” Brennan says.  “I think (head coach) Karin (Brower Corbett) would say that I’m very coachable and willing to listen and I can take the criticism and stuff.

“It’s just a matter of putting the tools that you have to use, and knowing what’s good and what’s not and then working at those things that you’re not good at.   For me, I didn’t really know how to dodge as much freshman year and I continuously worked on that for the past four years and now I think that’s one of my biggest strengths.  I think it’s just being smart, and using what I have.”

Now Karin Brower Corbett has lifted the Quakers to the lofty status that they now enjoy as a program, and the coach knows she has had four special years with Brennan.

“I knew that she was a good player when she came, but I think the thing that makes Erin so great is one, her competitiveness.  I think every little game, every little drill we do, she’s always trying to figure out how to win it.  Just has that competitive spirit in her.  And yet (she) is really liked by the teammates.  I think sometimes when you have a kid that is just so competitive, it can sometimes drive people away, but she puts them on her back.  She is such a team player, yet will put the team on her shoulders.  And she is a tremendous leader.  Everybody totally respects her from the day that she stepped onto this field.  She was a captain as a junior last year and has just led in every way for four years.  She’s a great player, but above all that I just think she’s a great leader.”

Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Karin Brower Corbett:

While there is still lacrosse to play and goals to reach, Brennan says it has been an incredible ride for her to this point.

“Definitely, looking back, I wouldn’t regret anything that’s happened.  I fortunately came into the program when Karin was really building it and they were on the rise.  It’s been amazing to be a part of it and watch every year that continued success and people just working so hard every day and having that goal of really getting there to the national championship and always keeping that in the back of their mind.”

Brennan and Penn will be on the road Wednesday night to visit Princeton.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw

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