PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They’re aware of the dates. They’re etched somewhere in their collective conscious. They know what they’ve done, and they know there is still history for them to make out there.
The Philadelphia community is a national lacrosse hotbed. Go down any roster of NCAA champions over the last decade and chances are you’ll find two or three players from Philadelphia on them.
This year, the lacrosse world is coming to Philadelphia on Memorial Day weekend when Lincoln Financial Field hosts the 2019 Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championships on May 25-27.
One team that won’t have far to go could be Penn — even after an 0-3 start to this season.
The Quakers enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed. Penn (11-3) will host Patriot League Tournament champion Army (13-4) in the opening round at 5 p.m. Saturday at Franklin Field.
This is a Penn team that’s already made an historic foothold in the program’s history.
Buoyed by 10 seniors, the Quakers became the first team in Penn history to win both the regular-season Ivy League championship and the Ivy League tournament title.
The last time Penn won the Ivy League was in 1988, when the Quakers shared the title with Yale. The last time Penn won the Ivy League outright came in 1984.
Penn will be looking to do something Saturday that hasn’t been done in 31 years — win an NCAA Tournament game.
The Quakers last won an NCAA Tournament game in 1988. The last time the Quakers were in the tournament was 2014, when they were knocked out in the first round by their neighbors, Drexel.
Penn’s current 11-game winning streak is the second longest in program history.
Although Penn is seeded No. 4 in the tournament, the Quakers made more history this week when for the first time they earned a No. 2 national ranking in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll entering NCAA Tournament, a program record for highest ranking in the Coaches Poll. The Quakers were ranked No. 3 for the final two polls of the 1984 season.
Until this season, Penn’s seniors had never beaten Yale. That streak was stopped when they beat the Bulldogs, the defending national champions, twice.
Penn is 2-12 all-time in the national tournament and winless in its last five trips.
A program-best nine Quakers made the All-Ivy team, topped by first-team selections midfielder Tyler Dunn, defender Mark Evanchick, goalie Reed Junkin and freshman midfield standout Sam Handley, the first Penn freshman in program history to earn first-team All-Ivy honors — and Ivy League Rookie of the Year.