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With No. 12 Bucknell and unranked Yale on its schedule, the Penn men's lacrosse team entered spring break with the chance to justify its Brine/360 No. 17 ranking. Following two polar opposite performances, however, the Quakers ended the week with more questions than answers. After a confidence-building, 11-3 thrashing of the Bison at Franklin Field on March 10, Penn was unexpectedly upset by the Elis, 13-8, at home last Saturday. "The game versus Bucknell was the best game that we've played since I've been here," Penn senior Adam Solow said. "The game against Yale was by far the worst." Penn's victory over higher-ranked Bucknell was a tremendous win for the program, a key triumph in the team's home opener. Led by sophomore Scott Solow's hat trick and assist and standout offensive performances by senior co-captains Todd Minerley (one goal) and Kevin Cadin (two goals), the Red and Blue's attack dominated the Bison's defense. Sophomore midfielder Alex Kopicki also tallied two goals for the Red and Blue. Equally as impressive was the top-notch play of the Quakers' goaltender, Ryan Kelly. The sophomore netminder stopped 14 shots in what seemed to be a momentum-building victory for the Red and Blue. "We played very well, right from the start through the finish," Penn coach Mark Van Arsdale said. "We looked like the top team we expect to be." With its confidence surging, the team looked at its Ivy League opener against Yale as a chance to trounce the Elis with relative ease. "We were overconfident," Adam Solow said. "We thought we'd show up and they'd roll over." Instead, the Quakers were the ones who got rolled. Unable to shake its inability to win its first Ivy League contest of the season -- the Red and Blue have won only one Ancient Eight opening-season game since 1992 -- Penn fell by a whopping five goals to Yale. "We didn't come to play and they killed us," Adam Solow said. "We couldn't do anything," the Quakers midfielder said. "It was a nightmare. We couldn't score. We ruined a good effort by our defense. Our defense played well, and we, the offense, couldn't do anything." At the end of the first quarter, the Quakers only trailed the Elis by one goal. In the second half, though, a costly illegal stick penalty against the Red and Blue proved to be the turning point of the game. While playing with a man down for three minutes, Penn gave up three goals to find itself in a 4-0 deficit -- a margin the Quakers would not be able to overcome. "The three-minute illegal stick penalty is what did us in," Van Arsdale said. "They cashed in three times -- four goals down is a lot different from one goal down." With the season still young, the Quakers believe that they can rebound from the Yale defeat and continue to display the promise that they showed against Bucknell. "We need to use the Yale game as a wakeup call," Adam Solow said. "We know if we play well, we can compete with anyone. We just need to play hard and practice hard everyday, or else we will fall short."

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