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There's only one way to beat a team with one of the top-ranked defenses in the nation. And that's to play some stellar defense of your own. The Penn men's lacrosse team (4-4, 2-3 Ivy League) did just that on Saturday, outlasting Dartmouth (3-4, 0-1), 7-4, on Franklin Field. As expected, the Big Green were impressive in protecting their end of the field. Going into the game, Dartmouth was giving up an average of 6.67 goals per game - the fourth-least in the nation. A big part of the Big Green defense is sophomore goalie Mike Gault, who is arguably one of the best in the Ivy League at his position. "He's pretty much been the best player on our team all year," Dartmouth assistant coach Patrick Finn said. "This game is just a coming-out party for people to see how good he is." Even Penn coach Marc van Arsdale was impressed with Gault's play in the net. "Their goalie, I don't know how many saves he had, but he was on fire," van Arsdale said. Gault gave up just seven goals on 34 shots, posting a remarkable .794 save percentage. But Penn goalkeeper Ryan Kelly was equally impressive. The sophomore netminder stopped 75 percent of Dartmouth's shots en route to leading his team to victory. Kelly and the Quakers defense held Dartmouth five goals below their season average. "We just played sound defense, talking through what we wanted to do and calling out our first and second sides," Penn junior defender Read Mortimer said. "We did what we've been talking about all week - just playing hard. Ryan also came up huge in goal when we needed him to." Scoring began just 50 seconds into the opening quarter, as Dartmouth senior Georges Dyer hurled a pass from sophomore Scott Roslyn past Kelly. The Quakers responded later in the first quarter, as sophomore Scott Solow capitalized on a cross-checking penalty against Dartmouth senior Scott Kinum. Solow netted the first of his three goals on the day to tie the game at one. Penn scored first in the second quarter, as Solow put in his second of the game. Dartmouth then regained the momentum and went on to score three unanswered goals, taking advantage of Penn's poor weak-side coverage.v The Quakers were able to score once more before the close of the second quarter. Down 4-3 at halftime, Penn assistant coach Mike Murphy decided to make some defensive changes in an attempt to rectify the mistakes his team made in the first half. The changes proved to be beneficial, as Penn shut out the Big Green in the second half. "Coach Murphy is one of the best defensive coaches around," Finn said. "We couldn't seem to find our rhythm once they made some adjustments on stuff we did in the first half." While Dartmouth's offense came to a crashing halt, the Quakers offense continued to generate scoring opportunities. A big part in the offense on Saturday was midfield transition. After the Penn defense forced a turnover, good off-the-ball movement led to several four-on-three breakaways. "Our middies were working really hard to pick up the ground balls, and then they just took off," Solow said. Van Arsdale especially noted the effort of sophomore Alex Kopicki, one of the fastest men on the team.v "We put [Kopicki] on the field so that if we turn the ball around, we can create some good transition going up the field." Penn is now a win against Brown away from posting its first-ever .500 Ivy season.

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