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It was a successful season in a difficult Ivy League for Penn.

NCAA Rewind: An 'Up' Season for Penn

July 9, 2024
Beth Ann Mayer
John Strohsacker

Before USA Lacrosse Magazine looks ahead to what’s to come in 2025 — look out for our NCAA Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings later this summer — our team of staff and contributors decided it was worth taking a last look at the 2024 college lacrosse season.

To do that, we’re taking a journey through 30 of the top teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse to see what went right, what went wrong and how we should feel about the season.


USA Lacrosse preseason/final ranking: No. 15/No. 8
2024 record: 15-5 (5-2 Ivy League)

What went right: Penn started the season 6-0, scoring an impressive non-conference win over Johns Hopkins in the process. But the marquee win for the Quakers came on March 27, when they beat a Maryland 13-9. The Terps had just been crowned the No. 1 team in the land in the USA Lacrosse and IWLCA/ILWomen rankings. 

Penn, the 2023 Ivy League regular-season and tournament champion, was up against stiff competition in the conference in 2024. Princeton bounced back in the second year under Jenn Cook. Yale continued to improve, and Harvard and Brown were nearly Top 20 (and NCAA tournament) teams.

The Quakers made the Ivy tournament as a No. 3 seed but beat Princeton 18-14 in the semifinals, avenging a regular-season loss. Hours after losing to Yale in the championship game in overtime on Selection Sunday, the Quakers had reason to celebrate when their names were called as the No. 8 seed and hosts for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Penn beat Richmond and Loyola to advance to the quarterfinals.

Izzy Rohr (34 CT, 33 GB) was named Ivy League Defender of the Year and scored her first collegiate goal during the Quakers’ win over Loyola in the NCAA tournament. 

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What went wrong: A loss to Princeton in the regular season wasn’t the best look. But the two losses to Yale sting the most. The first — a 16-8 drubbing on ESPNU on April 7 — all but sealed Penn’s fate as a No. 3 seed. The second, a 10-9 overtime loss to Yale, saw Penn blow a 6-3 halftime lead, give up four goals in the final quarter and ultimately fall short of its bid to repeat as Ancient Eight champs. 

Northwestern ended Penn’s season in a lopsided 20-7 result.

Season highlight: Selection Sunday had to be whiplash for the Quakers — a heartbreaking loss followed by news they’d be hosting. But the Quakers rose to the occasion, beating a pair of talented teams (Loyola was something of a snub for a home game) to earn a quarterfinal berth. It was a long time coming for the Quakers, who hadn’t advanced past the second round since 2016.

Verdict: No Ivy League regular-season or tournament crown — and regular-season losses to Princeton and Yale — weren’t moments for the time capsule. Yet, the Ivy League was simply more competitive this year. And that’s why — despite these downers — 2024 was an “up” year for Penn. 

The Quakers ultimately performed above expectations in a league that did the same, producing a season worthy of a final spot in the top eight.