Mother Nature had her way in Towson, Md., on Tuesday night. Luckily, despite thunderstorms and flashes of lightning, No. 10 Penn men’s lacrosse also had its way with a struggling opponent.
Exactly one month after its last defeat to then-No. 4 Cornell, the Quakers (8-3) managed to push their winning streak to five games with a 15-9 road victory against Towson on Tuesday.
In a game that was delayed midway through the third quarter for over two hours due to lightning strikes, Penn overcame a strong first period from the Tigers (8-6) to take control of the contest and built on its momentum heading into its regular season finale on Friday.
After taking down Brown on Saturday in its final Ivy League game before the conference tournament, the Quakers looked to build off its strong play over the past month with postseason play in sight.
But Towson junior midfield Justin Mabus had other ideas. The Yorktown Heights, N.Y., native got the Tigers on the board just 47 seconds into the contest, and Penn found itself in an early 1-0 hole.
The two squads traded goals throughout the rest of the first quarter, as junior midfield Joe McCallion scored off an assist from freshman attack Kevin Brown before the rookie found the back of the net himself.
Knotted up at two, Mabus scored his second goal of the night and fifth in two games to put Towson ahead at the end of the period.
But as they have done several times this season, the Red and Blue fought back, utilizing consecutive goals from junior attack Isaac Bock in the first 5:06 of the second quarter to capture their first lead of the game.
After Mabus found freshman attack Ryan Drenner for an equalizer, the Quakers began to seize control of the game. Penn was then boosted by back-to-back goals from Nick Doktor in a two-minute span, and the Red and Blue went into the break leading, 6-4.
Halftime did nothing to slow the Quakers down. Following goals from senior midfields Drew Belinsky and Zack Losco, freshman midfield Chris Hilburn beat Towson’s goalkeeper for his first career goal, and extended Penn’s lead to five.
After the Quakers sandwiched two goals around a goal from Towson’s leading scorer this season, senior attack Thomas DeNapoli, Mother Nature decided to get in on the action herself.
Following junior midfield Mike Power’s score that pushed the Red and Blue’s lead to 11-5, thunderstorms and lightning began at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The game was delayed for two hours, and didn’t resume play until just before 10:00 p.m.
Once the two squads made it back onto the field, it was more of the same. The Tigers added two goals while Penn senior Danny Feeney also scored, sending the game to the fourth period with Penn leading, 12-7.
As Towson attempted to put together a comeback, the Quakers defense clamped down, allowing only two more goals. Meanwhile, Hilburn added his second goal of the game and Doktor completed the hat trick with a score with 3:11 remaining.
Penn will complete its regular season with a game against St. John’s on Friday.