It's always good to start your season off on a high note.
Penn men's lacrosse overcame a hot start from Michigan to win its season opener at home, 12-9. Senior attackman Kevin McGeary led the way for the Quakers (1-0). He scored four goals in the win and added an assist.
“He did a really good job today, just kind of coming off picks and dodging one on ones. He’s a very difficult matchup. He’s worked very hard this year to get into good shape; he’s gotten strong and faster, and those things. So, we have come to expect that from him, and Simon Mathias as well on attack,” coach Mike Murphy said.
McGeary was integral to overcoming Michigan’s fast 3-0 start in the first quarter. The Wolverines (2-1) jumped out to an early three goal lead in less than three minutes. But three straight from the Quakers erased the early deficit.
The game went back and forth for a while, with neither team taking more than a one goal lead until the second half. But late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, McGeary came through, scoring three of his four goals in a 12 minute stretch to put the Quakers ahead for good.
“His leadership is great too. We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole and he maintained his composure, and we just kind of chipped away, and went from down 3-0 to tied 5-5 at the end of the first quarter, and we just settled in,” Murphy added.
Junior attacker Simon Mathias added three goals, with junior attacker Tyler Dunn scoring two for Penn.
Remarkably, the Quakers outscored the Wolverines despite having 10 less shots in the game.
“We want to improve the shooting statistic to increase the number of shots on cage, so we can put a little more pressure on them,” Murphy said.
Junior goalie Reed Junkin protected the goal well for the Quakers. After initially being scratched from the game, Junkin came in for the final 45 minutes to record seven saves and let up just four goals.
“Reed Junkin did a really good job in the cage for the last three quarters,” Murphy added.
Penn is now entering the season’s first post-game recovery period.
“We’ll shorten a lot of things up. We’ll shorten practice up obviously…We got some things we need to improve on. It’s our first game, and going into our second game, there are a lot of little things that we can address that will hopefully make us a better team on Wednesday than we were today,” Murphy said.
The Quakers want to leverage the momentum from the season-opening victory moving forward. Penn plays Maryland on Wednesday on the road, followed by a matchup with Duke Saturday on Franklin Field.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.