A loss to an unfamiliar foe snapped the Quakers’ winning streak.
After two consecutive Ivy wins, the Red and Blue fell, 13-8, to No. 6 Maryland at their home turf of Franklin Field on Tuesday.
“Face offs and getting the ball was the difference in the game,” coach Mike Murphy said. “It’s been our killing zone, and we’ve been looking for ways to fix it all year.”
Overall, the Red and Blue only won 7 of 25 faceoffs, which drastically impacted their possession time and scoring opportunities.
Penn (5-3) came out of the gate quickly, notching the game’s first two tallies on scores by Simon Mathias and Austin Kreinz. However, Maryland came back quickly. Three different Terrapins scored four goals on the Red and Blue within six minutes to destroy Penn’s early lead and turn the score in their favor.
“At the beginning we were playing a little scared,” freshman goalkeeper Reed Junkin said. “They’re a top five team with a really good offense. ... We let up some easy goals we probably shouldn’t have, like some cuts right on crease and stuff like that.”
By the end of the first quarter, the Terrapins (6-2) were up on the Red and Blue, 6-3.
The teams then stayed even with three goals apiece throughout much of the second quarter. However, a Maryland goal in the half’s final seconds gave them a 10-6 halftime lead.
As the two teams went to the locker room, the Quakers trailed by four, their largest deficit of the game to that point.
“They obviously tightened some things up at half time and so did we,” Murphy said. “It wasn’t anything different drastically, we didn’t make big tactical differences defensively but we cleaned and tightened some things up.”
Three consecutive stops from shots by Maryland less than five minutes into the second half fueled the Quakers’ renewed strength on defense. But as hard as hard as the Red and Blue persisted, their steam ran out and at 4:03 into the third quarter, Colin Heacock scored his third goal of the game for Maryland.
“As the second half came around I think we got it together on defense and kept our composure even though we were down by a good amount,” Junkin said.
“Reed Junkin played pretty well today,” Murphy said. “And he’s the freshman playing the most on the defensive end and he’s been as consistently good as anyone on our team this year.”
However, the offense was unable to find the back of the net on a few key possessions in the period.
The fourth saw more of the same strong Penn defense and attacking Maryland offense.
But this time, Penn found the net, and after even more saved shots, Simon Mathias put the Quakers on the board again for the first time in the second half and scored for the second time in the game.
And the Terps responded with two more goals leading into the last five minutes of play.
“We let up 10 goals in the first half but only three in the second, which was a good job for the second half,” Junkin said.
Penn still had some steam though. With 2:43 left in the game, Pat Berkery put one last one in the net, for his fifth goal of the year, bringing the final score of the game to 13-8.
“We weren’t quite sharp enough defensively in the first half and not quite sharp enough offensively in the second half,” Murphy said. “We’ll get back at it tomorrow and try to get better.”
And better the Red and Blue will try to be as they prepare to take on Yale in their next Ivy battle this Saturday.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.