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Top-ranked Princeton invades Franklin Field, as the Quakers hope to keep a winning record. The Penn men's lacrosse team made its mark on Franklin Field Sunday in defeating Yale, 18-9. For the first time in six years the Quakers (6-5, 3-2 Ivy League) will finish with at least three wins in the league, and for the first time since 1989, the Quakers will not end the year with a losing record. The lopsided contest did not exactly start to the Quakers' liking. Starting the game sluggishly, the Elis (4-9, 1-4) opened a 4-3 lead at the end of the first period. With the defenses overpowering the offenses, the attackmen remained futile in the second period. Behind two assists of senior captain Jon Cusson and the excellent face-off skills of freshman Billy Reidy, the Quakers took a brief 5-4 lead. Coming back with a pair of its own, Yale regained the lead, 6-5. But Penn's crafty senior midfielder Pete McGill sent the game into halftime tied at six. After picking up the ground ball, McGill faked a shot, causing the defenders to shift, which freed freshman attacker Chris Wolfe next to the net for the score. "We were surprised at how well they came out," McGill said. "We panicked on offense and started throwing it away. We were not making the right looks and were not patient enough. We couldn't hold on to the ball on offense or put the ball into the net." After talking over their first-half problems in the locker room, the Quakers came back out fired up for the second half. "At halftime coach told us we had to start running harder," senior captain middie Ed Hanover said. "They beat us in ground balls in the first half. We were trying to go for some risky passes early on. Coach told to start possessing more." Coming into the game, the Quakers had been outscored in the third quarter by a margin of 39 to 21. Penn knew it had to step up its play. It did. In the second half, the Quakers put on their best performance of the year. The second half was not about runs, it was about domination. In every aspect the Quakers destroyed any hope the Elis had of going back to New Haven with a victory. "We came out a little slow," Wolfe said. "We didn't have our legs under us. As the game progressed and as the game went on, we started to get momentum, and we started to get into a groove. Everybody was moving fast. The ball was moving. We were finding the open guys on crease, and we were making it happen." Limiting Yale to only three goals, both the Quakers defense and offense had little problem in carrying out their game plan. After ending the third period down 11-7, Yale scored in the beginning of the fourth to close the gap to three, but the Elis were not heard of again until after the game had been decided with only a few minutes left in the game. "We wanted to play good team defense and communicate," Penn sophomore defender Ziggy Majumdar said. "The first half we weren't doing that great, because we weren't talking enough? We were doing a good job pressuring them and taking away the inside. We were sliding the right way. They had no one to feed it to." Across the boards, the Quakers put on a spectacle. Penn showed their hustle by racking up 51 ground balls compared to Yale's 33. Behind Reidy's big day, the Quakers captured 21 out of the 30 faceoffs. "Billy was outstanding facing off for us," Van Arsdale said. "He gave us a little spark at the beginning of the second quarter. Through the third and the fourth the time of possession was in our favor due to Billy." Led by senior captain Jon Cusson with six assists and junior captain John Ward with four goals and two assists, the highly touted Quakers attack came through again. Also making major contributions were junior middie Joe Mauro who scored three goals and dished one assist and Hanover who added two goals and an assist. The player who added the most was Wolfe, filling in for injured freshman attackman Pete Janney, who saw only limited action after missing all of last week's practices. Although making a few minor mistakes, Wolfe's solid play adds another dimension to the Quakers offense. "I practiced hard all week," Wolfe said. "He told me I would get a shot today. I wanted to hustle, work hard and make it happen." Although Van Arsdale was impressed with Wolfe's performance, he has not decided who will be given the start in today's game against Princeton. In their outstanding play Sunday, Ward and Cusson inched closer to attaining their respective accolades. With his 36 goals so far this season, Ward has tied Andy Crofton's career goal mark at 109. Including his 49 points this season, Ward also ranks sixth on Penn's all-time career scoring list. At his current pace of 3.3 goals per game, Ward would also break the Penn record of goals per game in a season currently held by John Shoemaker at 2.9 in 1987. Cusson currently ranked sixth nationally with 2.75 assists per game and has moved up to the fourth spot on Penn's all-time career assist leader board with a total of 76. Cusson's Ivy League-leading 52 points put him one ahead of Ward at the fifth spot on the Penn all-time list. Although the Quakers made their mark Sunday in defeating the Elis, they will have their chance to make history as they take on the undefeated, top-ranked, reigning NCAA champions Princeton (10-0, 5-0) tonight at Franklin Field. For the Quakers, an improbable win would not only give them a winning record in both their Ivy and overall records, but a victory could also give them a bid into the NCAA tournament. For the Tigers, a win would give them their third-straight Ivy League crown and would put them one win away from finishing the season undefeated. Coming into the match, Princeton touts the best all-around team play in the nation. With an offense led by last week's Ivy League Player of the Week, attackman Jon Hess, and first-team All-American attackman Jesse Hubbard, Princeton seldom has problems outscoring their opponent. "In general, our approach has been that we know we can score goals," Princeton coach Bill Tierney said. "We have done that in the past. Our approach lately has been to try to find out what the other team is trying to do to us and to react to that." To slow down Princeton, the Quakers know they will have to play strong defensively. During practice this week, Van Arsdale also make sure the team focuses on keeping control of the ball, always looking for the best opportunity to take the shot. "We are going to throw a couple of different defenses at them, maybe some zones and some man-to-man," Majumdar said. "They have a high-powered offense. If we play the way we did against Yale, I think we will have a chance." Although Princeton is highly favored to win the battle, Tierney knows that Van Arsdale has changed the team around. Princeton will not expect as easy of victory as last year's 19-4 rout.

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