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Freshman midfielder Jacob Pacheco attempts to shoot against Delaware on Feb. 24.

Credit: Carly Zhao

When every goal, every save, every penalty, and frankly every moment feels like the biggest turning point of the game, the team who turns the tide last usually comes out on top. That was the case for Penn men's lacrosse, who took down No. 14 Delaware in a 11-10 thriller.

“There was no panic,” said senior goalkeeper Emmet Carroll. “That’s kind of been the identity of our team for a few years now.”

From the first draw, every few minutes the momentum seemed to shift from one side to the other. The Blue Hens (2-1) dominated the first few minutes of the game, limiting any clean shots from Penn (2-1) while generating several of their own. It was only thanks to the work of Carroll that the Quakers were able to limit Delaware to one early goal, with the goal tender saving four of the first five shots he saw.

“Delaware has an unbelievable shooting team,” Carroll said. “It’s always nice when you make a save early to kind of settle into the game.”

The game’s first seismic shift came after the whole team had settled in. The first flag of the contest was thrown, giving the Red and Blue a man advantage, allowing junior attacker Luke DiNola to even the game at one-all — this is now the third straight game in which DiNola has opened up the scoring for the Quakers. Minutes later, senior attacker Cam Rubin slotted home another, giving Penn a one-score lead that lasted through the end of the first quarter.

While the quarter changed, the Quaker’s momentum would not. Senior midfielder Gabe Furey added to the lead with a tough shot, as Penn looked to bury Delaware early, before the tables turned yet again. Two penalties were called against the Red and Blue, and Delaware would net two goals, putting it ahead 5-4. 

“That was tough,” Carroll said. “Credit to them, they came out and scored two pretty quick .… and took the momentum in the second quarter there.”

And yet, there was no quit in the Quakers. After a 4-0 run from the Blue Hens, Penn trailed 7-4 in the third quarter. Rubin scored a second goal to break the run, and later after another goal DiNola netted yet another to tie the score at seven all. The run continued for the Red and Blue, with goals from Rubin and junior attacker Tynan Walsh to make the score 9-7. 

But yet again, the momentum shifted in favor of Delaware. The Blue Hens tied the score again as the clock began winding down in the fourth period, and the Quakers were on the verge of a heartbreaking loss. Luckily, the momentum of the game shifted yet again. 

With just a few minutes left, Walsh netted a second clutch goal, followed by another from junior midfielder Casey Mulligan to pad the lead at 11-9. 

Mulligan’s goal would not be the last. Delaware would once again steal the momentum, scoring once with less than a minute to go. The final draw was won by Delaware, and a strong run to the net gave it a shot to even the score and force overtime. 

“That's a little bit scary,” Carroll said. “I think we're definitely going to want to handle our end of game situations better to not put ourselves in that situation. But you know, that's why you play really tough scheduled teams — Delaware's going to throw the kitchen sink at you.”

But Carroll could handle that kitchen sink. Delaware’s first shot clanged off the post, and the rebound was deflected away to give the Quakers a huge win over one of the top teams in the country. 

Penn will look to carry the momentum from the win into their next matchup in Durham against Duke on March 1 at 6:00 p.m.