Penn men’s lacrosse finally found something sweeter than fried Oreos in the Quad.
On what could only be described as a perfect day for lacrosse, the No. 11 Quakers faced off with Ivy-League leader No. 17 Harvard in the final home game for the Red and Blue’s senior class at Franklin Field.
The Quakers battled back from a two-goal deficit in the fourth period to force overtime, where they would ultimately score the winning goal and win, 8-7, in breathtaking fashion.
Saturday’s game was the final home game for senior defensemen Reid Tudor, Maxx Meyer and Alex Blonsky, senior midfields Brian Rotatori, Riley Murphy, Zack Losco, Danny Feeney and Drew Belinsky and senior attack Jeff Sestilio. Over 1,160 people in attendance saw the memorable finish.
Junior attack Chris Hupfeldt gave Penn (6-3, 3-2 Ivy) a 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal, but Harvard sophomore attack Deke Burns quickly evened the score. Losco soon put Penn ahead 2-1, and junior midfield Mike Power added another score — his first of the season — to help the Quakers head into halftime down only 4-3.
Belinsky’s third period goal, off an assist from Hupfeldt, knotted the score at four apiece , but Harvard came back with two more scores from sophomore attack Will Walker and sophomore midfield Sean McDonagh. Penn junior midfield Andrew Staller recorded his first score of the year in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to one, but another Harvard score made the score 7-5.
Little did the Crimson (7-5, 3-1) know they would not score again in the game.
After playing through two one-minute penalties, each of which forced Penn to play one man down, the Quakers finally broke through late in the fourth quarter with Losco’s second goal of the game.
Still down one with under one minute to go, Penn forced a Crimson turnover, and Harvard was subsequently penalized for defensive offsides. With possession and a one-man advantage, sophomore attack Nick Doktor found Belinsky, who scored the equalizing goal with only 13 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
With 2:38 left in overtime, Belinsky created an attacking opportunity and passed to Losco near the goal. Losco then found freshman attack Kevin Brown on the left side. Hit as he released the ball, Brown was able to get off a bouncing shot that found its way into the back of the net, completing a miraculous comeback to give Penn the 8-7 victory.
Not to be forgotten, another senior, goalie Brian Feeney, posted 13 huge saves for Penn.
Penn will play at last-place Dartmouth next weekend to finish up its Ivy League slate before finishing the season with nonconference matchups against Towson and St. John’s.