Two for two.
After a 9-6 victory over Cornell this past Saturday at Franklin Field, Penn men’s lacrosse remains undefeated in the Ivy League.
As fans soaked up the sun from the upper deck, the Red and Blue (5-2, 2-0 Ivy) scored the first six goals of the game.
“We were sharp,” coach Mike Murphy said. “Especially on offense, we were attacking and dodging hard and they threw some fouls so we had some man-up opportunities and we had possession because we won face-offs and cleared well.”
In the first quarter alone, the Quakers had 17 shots, four of which hit the back of the net and brought the score to 4-0 at the end of the first 15 minutes, one of which was in a man-up opportunity.
“We got off to a great start which helped us throughout the game,” sophomore Reilly Hupfeldt said. “We know when we start fast in practice we can do it games, and we’ve done in a couple games in a row so it’s really good for us to get that early lead; it helps at the end of the game.”
The first goal of the day went to freshman Alex Roesner with the assist from senior Nick Doktor less than three minutes into the game. But that was not all Roesner and Doktor. Roesner scored again at the start of the second period and then came back in the third quarter to extend Penn’s lead to 7-3 at the period’s end. Doktor recorded three assists on the day. The latter two helping sophomore Connor Keating and Roesner again.
Freshman goalkeeper Reed Junkin finally let up his first goal of the game with 2:16 remaining in the second period with a score from Cornell’s Emmy Poccia.
At halftime the score was 6-1. But the Big Red (3-4, 1-2) would build on their total when the two teams took the field again.
Cornell scored twice more in the third quarter before the Quakers got on the board again with Roesner’s third goal.
“It’s always going to be a game of runs,” Hupfeldt said. “Once we get hit back we just got to sustain it and know that now it’s our turn and bounce back and respond like they did.”
And that’s exactly what the Red and Blue did for a while. Cornell responded to Roesner’s score but Penn didn’t stop.
Tyler Dunn was next to put a point on the board, with his second completion of the day from Eric Persky’s assist. Chris Hilburn followed suit and brought the Quakers’ score up to nine, where it would remain for the last 5:35 of the game.
But the Big Red still had some steam left in them, making a run in the last five minutes for a last comeback attempt. The Red and Blue held them to only two goals though and the game finished with the Quakers victorious.
“We held them to six so it’s not like they lit us up down the stretch but they made a few adjustments and started getting some shots and on their defensive end,” Murphy said. “They were a little more aggressive but I think we just weren’t as sharp as we were in the first quarter or in recent games.”
The first quarter was certainly the highlight of the game for Penn. Not only in terms of goals and shots but in the face-offs and possession times that allowed them to get there.
In the first period, Penn won three of four face-offs and followed through with four goals. Subsequently, the Quakers’ either matched or were outdone by the Big Red, allowing Cornell to get more possession time that resulted in goals.
But despite the Big Red’s runs, Penn was able to hold onto its early lead through the end.
This win puts the Quakers at 2-0 in the Ancient Eight going into a non-league game this Tuesday against Maryland. While the Terps will be no easy foe, the Red and Blue are coming in with confidence.
“We played great on offense against Princeton last weekend and we played great defense today against Cornell,” Murphy said. “So it’s nice to know we can win games either way.
“If a team wants to play up and down then we will run with anybody, if they want to slow it down, we can buckle down and keep a good team to six goals.”
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