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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Penn 7, Lafayette 6

I was in Philadelphia last weekend, so although I wasn't able to cover the world of Michigan lacrosse, I was able to tae in my first-ever Division-1 game. Allow me a self-indulgent post for some pictures and thoughts.

On a cold night at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Quakers took on Lafayette. The boys from the Ivy league built a decent lead in the first couple quarters (I believe it was 6-2 at one point) before Lafayette made a comeback, and kept the game close in the end.

Franklin Field is such a cool facility - it's the former home of the Philadelphia Eagles and current home of Penn's 1-AA football team - though I'd been there before, so that was no surprise. It's not going to win any awards for modern or efficient design, but considering that it was built in 1895, I won't nitpick. Couple interesting notes: 1) The game was free, and I'm certain that the security guard was confused as to why I was asking him where to put my money 2) The press box is open not only to the elements, but also the upper concourse on the West side. I'm sure Eagles fans were throwing batteries at their least favorite journalists back in the 60s (pictured at right).

There were fewer people at this game than your standard (or even sparsely-attended) Michigan game, though I'm sure the chilly weather had something to do with that. Still, when the opponent is less than 1.5 hours away driving, I'd expect a little more fan presence.

As for what I noticed about the players, I was surprised to see a top-25 team (Penn was ranked #9 at the time) composed almost entirely of players that were smaller than most of Michigan's guys.

Size isn't everything, of course. Every short stick had better stick skills than all but the best of Michigan's guys - and maybe even better than some of them. Also, basically every player on Penn's team had a harder shot than all but the best (for my money, it's Carroll) on Michigan's team.

The athletic ability was about even with Michigan's team, I'd say. Their quickest guys weren't the tiny jitterbug types that Michigan's are, so they maybe had a better size/speed combo at some positions.

In all, a fun experience.

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