Off to its best Ivy League start since 1984, there has been no stopping Penn men’s lacrosse.
Coming off a commanding 16-9 win over Brown, the No. 6 Quakers (6-3, 4-0 Ivy) have now won six games in a row and are the only undefeated team in the Ivy League as they prepare to face Harvard (5-5, 1-2) on the road on Saturday.
“We treat every game with the same amount of intensity,” senior captain and midfielder Tyler Dunn said. “Our primary goals have been to win the Ivy League title, win the Ivy League Tournament, and potentially make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament. We are taking it one game at a time and are really looking forward to this Saturday.”
Although the Red and Blue can boast of star attackmen like freshman Sam Handley, who leads the team with 21 assists, and junior Adam Goldner, who leads the team with 33 goals, the team’s depth has been the foundation of its continued success.
“Handley has had a breakthrough season, and Goldner has been phenomenal, but I’m really grateful to play in a talented offensive setup that allows everyone to step up and contribute because of the plays we create,” senior captain and attackman Simon Mathias said.
Mathias scored the 100th goal of his Penn career against Brown — the first to do so since Pete Janney in 2000 — and extended his point-scoring streak to 52 games, the second-longest active streak in the country. Dunn has 14 goals and two assists to his name this season, while senior goalie Reed Junkin was named to the USILA Team of the Week for his heroic performance against Yale, a game Penn won in triple overtime.
With a talented group of players and a perfect conference record with two games to go in the regular season, Penn will be headed for an Ivy League title if it beats Harvard.
The Crimson fell to Cornell by a score of 19-11 last Saturday, breaking a three-game winning streak in the process. Their other Ivy loss came to Brown, a team that the Quakers dominated last weekend.
The Red and Blue have dominated this rivalry in recent years. They carry a six-game winning streak against the Crimson into this matchup, with their last loss coming in 2013.
With momentum and history on their side, the Quakers will have a slight edge over their opponents and a lot more will be at stake.
A win will clinch a share of Penn's first regular season Ivy League title since 1988, when the team made the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.
“Early on [this season] we spoke about how we wanted to win the Ivy League Championships,” coach Mike Murphy said. “Part of the reason we’ve been playing well and winning games is because we have a routine. We won a game, and we won another game, and now we are 6-3 and are now in a position to put our best step forward against Harvard.”
This Saturday, the Red and Blue will have the chance to claim some hardware and make some history.