Correction appended: March 25, 2013.
With the Penn State women’s lacrosse team already halfway through its schedule, the Lions will play their first home game outdoors when they face Drexel at 7 tonight in Philadelphia.
The team traveled to the city yesterday to prepare for the matchup, set to be the third of six night games scheduled of the season, and the first home game to be played on an outside field. With spring officially here, Penn State has been practicing outside this week in preparation for its first home game to be played outdoors.
“It’s always a decent atmosphere when it’s a night game,” coach Missy Doherty said. “Drexel is going to be coming out strong so we have to be ready to counteract our energy, but we are excited.”
Freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith said she enjoys playing night games because she gets the entire day to prepare for the competition, but sometimes it doesn’t benefit the team to have that much time before a game.
Tonight’s matchup is also the first home game the team will play since Sunday, giving the team some much needed time off from a strenuous early season schedule.
“It’s nice to have a couple days off, we have really had game after game and it was a pretty tough stretch of mid week games to weekend games,” Doherty said. “So it was nice to have a break and recoup and work out some of the things that we needed to work out at practice.”
Drexel is 6-2, and will face Penn State in its third game of its four game home stretch.
“[Drexel] really goes hard and they’re scrappy. I think almost all of the teams we are playing on our schedule are really gunning for us because we are ranked a little bit higher than them,” Doherty said. “We just have to keep fighting in those games and for those wins, and the players know that.”
In the IWLCA poll released on Tuesday, Penn State fell four spots in the rankings to No. 11, leaving only two schools left in the schedule currently ranked higher than the Lions. Both ranked opponents, No. 2 Florida and No. 4 Northwestern are American Lacrosse Conference members and will face the Lions on March 30 and April 5 respectively.
Ranked 10th in scoring offense, the Lions will be looking at leading scorer, sophomore Maggie McCormick to lead the team to victory over the high-power defense of the Dragons. Drexel has held its opponents to fewer than 10 goals six times this season.
Drexel’s sophomore goalkeeper Teresha Bradley leads the Dragons’ defense with a 7.60 goals against average, ranked 10th in the NCAA.
An earlier version of this article and headline stated incorrect information about the women’s lacrosse team’s game against Drexel that night. The women’s lacrosse team would be playing its first home game outdoors, though it had practiced outdoors at home and played several outdoor games on the road.