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Senior Sam Handley runs down the field to attempt a shot while fending off a Princeton defender at Franklin Field on March 18. Credit: Samantha Turner

In a game that was dominated by scoring runs, Penn men's lacrosse lost 18-12 to No. 5 Cornell in the team's second Ivy League matchup this season.

The Big Red (6-1, 2-0 Ivy) hosted the Quakers (3-4, 1-1) and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard — striking within the first 10 seconds of the game. However, Penn responded quickly with two swift goals by sophomore attacker Tynan Walsh. Senior attacker/midfielder Robert Schain and junior attacker Cam Rubin tacked on two more goals to put the Quakers up by three, but the Big Red were far from finished.

“I think Cornell is a good team, and they played well," coach Mike Murphy said. "We did not play very well in any area, so credit to them for having a good game plan and executing the game plan very well.”

Cornell scored five unanswered goals to take the lead by two in the second quarter, but senior midfielder Sam Handley managed to break the scoring drought with 7:53 to go. Cornell then responded with three more goals to take a commanding lead. Senior midfielder James Shipley and sophomore midfielder Hugh Mullane scored a goal apiece, ending the first half 9-7 in favor of the Big Red.

Penn came out strong in the second half, with sophomore attacker Ben Smith and Mullane scoring to tie the game at 9-9. However, Cornell answered with four goals again to take a 13-9 lead. Handley managed to score two more goals, but Cornell continued to control the game. The Big Red scored two more goals to secure a 18-12 victory, proving Penn's offense was no match for Cornell's. 

“It was a combination of things," Murphy said. "[Cornell] took better shots than we did, their goalie played better than our goalie did, and the faceoffs are a big statistical difference that gave them the momentum. You put all those things together, you lose by six.”

One of the key factors in Cornell's victory was the team's dominance in faceoffs. The Big Red won 24 faceoffs, giving them crucial possession advantages throughout the game, while the Quakers only managed to win 10. “A lot of the faceoffs were just 50-50 ground balls we couldn’t pick up,” Murphy added.

Despite the loss, the Red and Blue will have a chance to redeem themselves when they face off against Yale (3-3, 0-2) at Franklin Field on April 1.

“It’s going to be a good game," Murphy said. "For us, it’s good practice this week, good game plan, and then try to execute the game plan."