After having lost its last two contests and three of its last four, Penn men’s lacrosse looks to be back on the right track after an 11-8 victory this weekend against Harvard.
Senior goalkeeper Patrick Burkinshaw stood steadfast in goal to humble Harvard's offense (7-3, 2-2 Ivy). After tying his career high in saves against Brown last weekend with 17, he made 20 saves against Harvard to mark a .714 save average.
Although the Quakers (5-4, 2-3) have seen more explosive days from its offensive unit, the team did enough to secure the victory. Senior midfielder Sam Handley led the way for the Quakers in the scoring department, notching four goals, while senior attacker Dylan Gergar wasn’t far behind with three of his own. Each senior also tallied an assist, coming off of passes to the other.
While the two teams traded goals in the first half, entering the midway point with a 4-3 Harvard lead, the Quakers took over in the third quarter, scoring five unanswered goals — six if you include one from the second quarter — and protecting the lead in the fourth quarter to secure the three-goal victory. The final score of the game for the Red and Blue, which put Penn safely in the driver's seat with 5:28 to go, came from junior defender Peter Blake, who scored his first goal of his collegiate career.
Additional goal scorers for Penn during Saturday's contest included junior midfielder Gabe Furey, who scored two goals, and senior attacker Kaleb Fernandez, who chipped in the fifth of the Quakers' six unanswered goals during the second and third quarters. Freshman attacker Cam Rubin and junior midfielder James Shipley each added two assists, while graduate student midfielder Ben Bedard assisted one goal.
The team that the Quakers handily defeated this weekend was no slouch. Despite Penn’s recent dominance in the head-to-head tilts between the two schools, Harvard entered the match ranked No. 14 in the country. As such, Penn’s victory pushes it up to the fourth overall ranking, according to the NCAA’s Division I rankings through April 17.
The Quakers now look ahead to their last Ivy League matchup of the regular season, which will be a road meeting with the Big Green of Dartmouth College (4-7, 0-4) in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth is currently winless in Ivy League play and on a six-game losing streak, but the Quakers cannot afford to ride their big victory and new ranking to complacency.