Despite its two most prominent stars each recording a hat trick, the No. 17 Penn men’s lacrosse team fell at No. 10 Duke Friday night, 12-8.
The contest began evenly enough, with each squad clocking two goals within the first four minutes.
It only took Duke’s C.J. Costabile seven seconds to break the seal and put the Blue Devils (3-1) on the board.
The Quakers (0-1) saw solid early production from seniors Dan Savage and John Conneely, as they traded goals with Costabile and Duke’s Jordan Wolf to tie the game at two.
Then things slowed down a bit.
Nearly six minutes passed before either team could find an offensive rhythm. The drought was broken by Wolf, who registered his second unassisted goal.
And at that point — late in the first quarter — the Devils released the hounds.
Up 3-2, Duke went on a tear; four different players notched unassisted goals and just a few minutes into the second stanza, it was a lopsided 7-2 game.
But just as suddenly as Duke’s offensive seemed to click, the Quakers were stopped the bleeding.
The Red and Blue held the Blue Devils scoreless for more than 10 minutes, while Savage and Conneely each tallied unassisted scores.
Duke’s Josh Dionne got one more past Penn goaltender Brian Feeney, and the teams headed to the locker room with the score 8-4, Duke.
For most of the third quarter, it looked like the Quakers would be able to dig their way out of the first half hole.
After allowing a quick score from Christian Walsh, Penn buckled down while Savage and Conneely each recorded his third goal of the game.
With Penn down just three as the third quarter drew to a close, disaster stuck again, this time in the form of Duke’s Dionne.
The sophomore attack from Merrimack, N.H., found the back of the net twice in the final minute of the third, putting the Blue Devils back up by five.
Penn could not mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, despite goals from Ryan Parietti and Drew Belinsky.
The Quakers outscored Duke, 2-1, in the period, but it was far from enough.
Penn will look to get into the win column Tuesday when it welcomes Lehigh to Franklin Field.