M. Lax come up short against Lehigh

Defense can’t contain Lehigh as Penn suffers second consecutive defeat

· February 28, 2012, 11:10 pm   ·  Updated February 29, 2012, 1:24 am

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Aaron Campbell | DP

Senior attack John Conneely was hounded all game by Lehigh defenders. The Dix Hills, N.Y., native, who scored a hat trick in the season opener against Duke, was held to just one goal on five shots Tuesday at Franklin Field in a 10-4 loss against the Mountain Hawks.


Penn men’s lacrosse was thoroughly outplayed Tuesday night.

The Quakers lost, 10-4, in a game during which they appeared to check out multiple times.

While there were a few positive stretches, Lehigh, who was coming off a 13-0 weekend win over Manhattan, generally swarmed the Quakers on defense. On the attack, Lehigh played an even-paced, efficient offense that landed them one goal in the first period, three in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth.

“It wasn’t like we were caught off guard,” coach Mike Murphy said after the game, explaining that he expected Lehigh to be strong. “We probably didn’t play as well as we were capable of playing.”

In the first period, Penn maintained favorable possession and attacked the visitors near the net. However, Lehigh, known for its defense, applied tight pressure on Penn, and the Quakers could only get a few shots off.

“Shot selection wasn’t great,” Murphy said.

With four minutes left in the first, the Quakers were penalized for slashing, leaving them one man down for one minute.

Lehigh took advantage. Freshman attack Patrick Corbett scored on a short-range shot from the right side of the net.

In the second period, Lehigh came out strong and scored just two minutes in. Penn lost the ensuing faceoff, and Corbett added another Lehigh goal one minute later, putting the Mountain Hawks up, 3-0.

The Mountain Hawks continued to play fundamental, effective offense, passing the ball around close to the net until they managed to score.

Penn, however, seemed hesitant to play inside as it had in the first period, instead moving the ball around far from the goal. This strategy eventually landed the Quakers an unassisted score by John Conneely, but Lehigh responded soon after with yet another goal. Lehigh entered the half up, 4-1, and had outshot Penn, 8-3.

Other than one breakaway run by sophomore defender Alex Bionsky, which ultimately led to a goal by senior defender Will Koshansky, the Quakers seemed asleep in the third period.

“We talked about [offensive improvements] at halftime,” said Murphy. “Didn’t really do a much better job of it in the second half.”

They lost all four faceoffs and managed just two shots on goal.

By the final period, the squad was near-catatonic. They won one of seven faceoffs and gave up four more goals. A last-minute rally netted the Quakers two scores but factored little into the 10-4 result.

After the match, players were not made available for comment.

Penn has a week off before it hosts No. 4 North Carolina at Franklin Field over spring break. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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