Following a week in which Penn goalie Brian Feeney recorded 27 saves, gave up just 19 goals and won Ivy Player of the Week, the sophomore had momentum heading into Tuesday’s contest against St. Joseph’s.
Feeney showed no signs of letting up. He put in another strong performance, and the Quakers defeated the Hawks at Finnesey Field, 9-5.
Saving 10 of 15 shots, Feeney frustrated St. Joe’s (3-9) throughout the night, forcing them into a 22-minute scoreless drought from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the third quarter.
Coach Mike Murphy believes Feeney fed off of last week’s success.
“With that position, confidence helps a lot,” Murphy said. “You start to see the ball, you perform better and then you feel better about yourself.”
While Feeney’s performance stood out, the entire defense stepped up.
In past weeks, the Quakers’ urgency on the defensive end had been non-existent at times, forcing Murphy to challenge his team.
“We haven’t been great defensively,” Murphy said. “So tonight, we tried to make them earn every goal they scored, and for the most part, we were successful.”
Besides two easy goals, Penn (3-8, 1-4 Ivy) made life hard for the Hawks.
And the renewed defensive vigor couldn’t have come at a better time, as Penn’s offense had trouble finding the back of the net. The Quakers scored just nine goals despite taking 40 shots.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well for most of the night,” Murphy said. “Their goalie did a fantastic job.”
The Hawks’ goalie, senior Griffin Ferrigan, kept pace with Feeney for most of the game, saving 17 of 26 attempts.
Yet, with the clock running down in the first half, senior Dan Savage attacked from behind the net and put one past Ferrigan. With just three seconds remaining, the goal handed the Quakers a 4-1 lead at the half.
The Red and Blue carried the offensive momentum into the third and they scored two quick goals.
“Most of the goals during the run we went on were individual efforts,” Murphy said. “Players making plays.”
Savage scored two goals on the night, while junior Ryan Parietti led the Quakers’ attack with three of his own.
After jumping out to its big lead, Penn eased up on defense and allowed the Hawks back into the game. The home team closed the deficit to two goals with 5:27 remaining.
But that’s as close as St. Joe’s would come. The Quakers took control once again with 2:50 remaining in the fourth on a goal by senior John Conneely, which put the game out of reach for the Hawks.
The victory gives the Red and Blue their first winning streak of the season. The Quakers have a shot at continuing their winning ways in the Ivy finale against Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday.
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