One team was going to leave Franklin Field under .500 in Ivy League play. And with a late rally, the Quakers ensured it wouldn’t be them.
On Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field, No. 15 Penn men’s lacrosse took down Brown, 10-8. The win marked the Red and Blue’s first home win against their foes from Providence, R.I. , since 2007.
At the outset, it looked like this one might turn into a shootout. Penn (5-3, 2-2 Ivy) put itself on the board first, thanks to a goal from junior attack Isaac Bock, but Brown (6-4, 1-2) responded by ripping through Penn’s defense — which had been stellar against Yale — with three successive goals to go up, 3-1.
“We’ve been through many big games so far ... being down in the first and second quarters, so it’s something we expect, but it’s something we learn to deal with,” sophomore midfield Pat Berkery said.
The Quakers finished off the opening quarter emphatically, rattling off four straight of their own, scoring the tying and go-ahead goals 10 seconds apart. Senior midfield Alex Blonsky led the rally, scoring two goals as Penn retook the lead.
Then, both squads shored up on defense, allowing just one goal apiece in each of the next quarters, and Penn took a 7-5 lead into the last 15 minutes of play.
“We mostly told our guys to settle down,” coach Mike Murphy said. “A lot of it was just taking away their transitions.”
Given the pace of the game, it seemed as if the Red and Blue might ride out the victory, but Brown was determined to make things interesting. With 10:49 left in regulation, Sam Hurster would put one into the back of the net to bring the Bears within one.
As he scored, the referees hit Penn with an unnecessary roughness penalty. Brown capitalized on the one-man advantage, and 34 seconds later, Hurster found the net again to knot the game up at seven, as Penn senior goalie Brian Feeney tipped the shot but couldn’t stop it from bouncing in.
Despite the late rally, Penn wouldn’t let the tie stand for long. Less than a minute later, Berkery scored his second of the day off Penn’s own one-man advantage from a push penalty to put the Red and the Blue back in front for good.
“It was awesome,” Berkery said about scoring the game-winning goal. “We knew coming in here we would have better legs than them ... we knew we’d probably run them into the ground in the fourth quarter, so we were never really worried.”
And Penn looked stronger down the stretch. Sophomore Nick Doktor and senior Zack Losco added goals of their own late in the fourth to give Penn some breathing room. Feeney finished with five saves, including one in the decisive final period.
The Quakers, who have the second-toughest strength of schedule in the nation, will look to carry a two-game win streak into their final two Ivy matches. Penn plays Harvard at Franklin Field on Saturday before traveling to Dartmouth a week later.Comments powered by Disqus
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