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Penn was tied with the No. 2 Orangemen at the half, but then faltered. A tough season for the Penn men's lacrosse team got a little tougher on Saturday when the Quakers suffered a disappointing loss to national No. 2 Syracuse. Penn (5-8) entered halftime tied 3-3 with the formidable Orangemen (10-1), but Syracuse went on a 6-0 run in the third quarter and ended up winning the game, 9-4. While the Quakers are upset with the loss, they know they put up a good fight against a national powerhouse. "Syracuse is a team that tends to have runs, and the third quarter was when they had theirs," Penn senior co-captain Pete Janney said. "The defense still played phenomenally, and [Penn goalie] John Carroll made some huge saves in goal." Despite giving up six goals in the third, not only did the Penn defense hold the Orangemen to their lowest goal output all season, but they also held Syracuse to only its second scoreless period of the season in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Quakers, however, their offense couldn't hold up in the second half. "We were getting some really good possessions throughout the game, but we had a lot of problems finishing," Janney said. The statistics sheet shows that shooting accuracy was a problem for Penn, as the Quakers took 42 shots -- only three fewer than the Orangemen -- but Syracuse goalie Rob Mulligan was forced to make just 16 saves. Other offensive categories illustrate that the Quakers and the Orangemen were pretty evenly matched as well. Syracuse scooped 43 ground balls to Penn's 34, and the Red and Blue had four fewer face-off wins during the game. This parity was most evident throughout the first half. Both teams got off to slow starts offensively, and the first goal wasn't scored until Syracuse sophomore Michael Springer took a Ryan Powell feed and put the ball past Carroll with 4:51 left in the first quarter. The Quakers quickly countered when Billy Reidy scored 33 seconds later on an unassisted goal. Penn and Syracuse traded goals throughout the first half, ending the first quarter tied 2-2 and the second knotted at three. The last goal of the half, off the stick of Todd Minerley, came with 33 seconds left. Minerley also assisted on two goals. Coming out of halftime, the Quakers looked to continue to match the Orangemen's intensity, but that was not to be. With less than five minutes gone by in the half, Springer scored his third goal of the day on a pass from Josh Coffman. From there, Syracuse went on to score five goals over the next 7:03 of play to sink the Quakers' hopes of an upset. "We called a timeout to try to stop the run and were able to stop them from there," Janney said. "But it was too late because the offense couldn't counter. Reidy tallied his second score of the day early in the fourth quarter, but the Quakers failed to rally despite taking 13 shots on goal, winning two face-offs and holding their opponents scoreless. The game was slightly reminiscent of the meeting between these two teams last season. In that contest, the teams went into the second quarter of play tied at one, but the Orangemen erupted, scoring 11 out of the next 12 goals over the middle two periods. In the 2000 version, however, Penn was able to play as good and at times better than an athletically superior team for three out of four quarters. What can put the Quakers at ease even more is the fact that the Orangemen went on to smoke Princeton, 16-4, the day after the Penn-Syracuse meeting. The defeat was the Tigers' worst since a 1990 loss to Johns Hopkins. Springer continued his torrid weekend, tallying a career-high five goals -- he set his previous career-high the day before with four -- and Powell contributed with six assists and a goal. With the defeat, Penn can no longer finish the season with a .500 record, since it has only one more game on the road. The Quakers face Delaware away next weekend and would like to end their season like they started it, on a high note. Penn opened its season with an upset win over nationally ranked Notre Dame, but has since fallen on hard times, losing eight of its last 12. The game also represents the last for seniors Janney, Reidy, co-captain Bill Fowler and Mike Kehoe. "It's starting to hit me that this is our last game," Janney said. "It would really be great to go out on a positive note."

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