If Penn wants to win the national championship in women's lacrosse, the Quakers will first have to avenge their only loss of the season.
Fourth-seeded Penn (16-1) will face top-seeded Northwestern (19-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. in the first NCAA semifinal at Franklin Field. The Quakers lost, 13-4, on March 9 at Northwestern.
Penn advanced to the school's first NCAA Final Four in any sport since 1988 with a 9-7 win over Maryland on Saturday at Franklin Field. The field hockey and men's lacrosse teams reached the Final Four in '88.
"It's just so exciting," coach Karin Brower said. "It's been a goal of ours all year to be here in the Final Four."
Northwestern advanced with a 14-9 win over Syracuse. Second-seeded Duke faces third-seeded Virginia in the second semifinal in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup. Virginia beat North Carolina, 14-8, and Duke defeated Johns Hopkins, 12-7.
Friday night's semifinal winners meet Sunday at Franklin Field.
The Quakers were in a 4-0 hole midway through the first half before scoring eight of the next nine goals to take an 8-5 advantage. The run was capped by the second of two goals by Becca Edwards (Springfield Montco).
"I hadn't been shooting well, but I knew I had to focus," Edwards said. "I came around the crease, knew I had my defender beat and it just went in."
The last time a women's lacrosse team won a national title in its home stadium was 1995, when Maryland beat Princeton. Penn is hoping its turn is now.
"We knew we wanted to be here at Franklin Field for the Final Four," said Chrissy Muller, who had a goal and an assist. "Here we are." *