Neither rain, sleet, snow nor the No. 7 Princeton Tigers could top the Penn men’s lacrosse team on Saturday.
The Quakers (5-1, 1-0 Ivy) held off a last minute comeback to defeat Princeton, 11-10, in their Ivy League opener at Franklin Field.
The weather was a key factor in the game. On top of snow, rain and hail, a lightning delay postponed the start of the second half by an extra hour.
Penn got off to a fast start, shutting out the Tigers (4-2, 0-1 Ivy) in the first quarter, while scoring three goals of its own.
But Saturday’s game was defined by rapid shifts in momentum.
After Matt Machucki scored for the first time this season to give Penn a 4-0 lead, the Tigers responded with five consecutive goals to take the lead.
In the second half, Penn regained momentum after falling behind, 7-6.
Penn took an 8-7 lead after freshman Nick Doktor’s goal on an assist by senior and former football player Dave Twamley. It was Twamley’s first career point.
On a power play with 5:31 left in the game, junior Drew Belinsky netted a goal and was hit illegally by Princeton junior midfielder Brian Reilly after his shot.
This led to another Penn power play and senior captain Tim Schwalje added another goal just 13 seconds later. As a result, Penn turned a 7-7 tie into a 10-7 lead in just 45 seconds.
Princeton was able to keep the game close in the fourth quarter. Crucial to the Tigers’ success at the end of the game was their ability to win faceoffs.
Princeton won all eight faceoffs in the fourth quarter. After a Princeton goal by senior midfielder Jeff Froccaro with 1:08 left to play and an unassisted goal by junior Tom Schreiber with 45 seconds left, Princeton narrowed the Quakers’ lead to just one goal.
The Tigers missed two more chances at the goal before turning the ball over, effectively ending the game.
Penn was led by junior goalkeeper Brian Feeney, who had 10 saves, and sophomore Isaac Bock, who scored three goals.
The win was yet another sign of Penn’s improvement under coach Mike Murphy.
After going winless against Princeton for more than twenty years, Penn has now won two of its last three meetings against the Tigers.
The surging Quakers will face their biggest challenge of the season and highest ranked opponent against No. 2 Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., next Saturday.
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