mlax

Men's lacrosse received quite the scare in a non-conference showdown at UMBC, but two clutch goals from freshman attackman Simon Mathias helped the Quakers avoid the upset in a wild 8-7 win.

And that’s two.

Late last night in good ol’ Baltimore, the Quakers were able to build on their Ivy win Saturday to defeat UMBC in a non-conference game, 8-7.

The Red and Blue (7-5) got the first point on the board with an unassisted goal from midfield Tyler Dunn just 34 seconds into the game.

But the Retrievers (3-9) didn’t let Penn stay up for long. Attack Nate Lewnes scored his first of four goals of the day just under two minutes into the first quarter.

In the spirit of the back-and-forth play of the matchup, the Quakers responded before the end of the period, putting the Red and Blue up 2-1 after the first 15 minutes.

The second quarter would show more of the same. Lewnes started off the action with his second goal of the game off an assist from Max Maxwell.

Last year, Lewnes, a senior Maryland native who has been a key attack for the Retrievers since his freshman campaign — he led UMBC with 31 goals, finishing the season two shy of the 100-point mark in his collegiate career – a benchmark he has now comfortably passed.

But Lewnes would not be the only player on the field to put two in the net in the first half.

With six minutes left in the half, Penn attack Simon Mathias found the goal for the second time, putting Penn back ahead at 3-2.

The freshman Connecticut native has been an essential piece of the Red and Blue offensive unit this season. Coming to Penn, Mathais was ranked 39th on the Lacrosse Power 100 Freshman of 2015. Playing in all 12 games in his rookie collegiate season, he’s scored 23 goals, the most of any player on the Red and Blue thus far.

His 31 points are second on the team, only surpassed by Nick Doktor’s 42.

Despite his youth, Mathias was certainly a driving force in countering Lewnes’ and the UMBC offense’s power throughout the game.

After the ping pong between the two stars, the Retrievers scored once more with just seven seconds remaining in the half. The two squads went into the locker room at half time tied 3-3 — the third tie of the game at that point.

Coming back for the third quarter, Lewnes was back at it off another feed from Maxwell, giving UMBC its first lead of the game with 8:40 left in the period.

After that, however, the Quakers dominated, scoring three goals in under three minutes. The first was Kevin McGeary, followed 20 seconds later by Mathais’ third goal of the game. The third in the set came from Connor Keating.

With 30 seconds left in the third period, the Quakers were up 6-4, their largest lead of the game to this point.

But once again, Lewnes responded. With just five seconds left, he, with the assist from his trusty sidekick Maxwell brought the score difference up to one.

But the Red and Blue held the Retrievers from gaining any continued momentum in the fourth period.

Sophomore Reilly Hupfeldt scored an early goal off an assist from Mathias two and a half minutes in to put Penn back up to a two point lead.

But Haldeman came back to put two more in the back of the net in a period of three minutes, tying the game up for the last time at 7-7.

With eight minutes left to play, the Red and Blue offense needed just one more completion while the defense had to hold off a powerful UMBC attack unit.

And so they did.

Keating found the goal once more at a critical moment with 4:15 left to play. The final score rested at 8-7, giving the Quakers their second win in a row.

Freshman goalkeeper Reed Junkin played all 60 minutes with six stops.

This match precedes the Quakers’ last Ivy game this Saturday. The Red and Blue migrate north to face off in Hanover against Dartmouth at 1 p.m..

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