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Penn men's lacrosse played St. Joseph's at Franklin Field on Mar. 19.

Credit: Carly Zhao

Penn men's lacrosse entered the matchup against Saint Joe's boasting a four-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Quakers suffered a 12-7 defeat on a cold day on Franklin Field, shattering its historic winning streak.

A porous defense, struggling offense, and plenty of messy faceoffs summarized the first quarter for the Red and Blue (5-3, 1-0 Ivy) while the Hawks (4-3) cooked up a storm on both sides of the field. In the opening moments of the game, junior attackers Tynan Walsh and Ben Smith took the first two shots for Penn, but both were thwarted by Saint Joseph goalkeeper Tommy Gross. Penn countered just as strongly with its defense, forcing Saint Joseph to commit a shot clock violation.

Finally, seven minutes into the first quarter, the crowd cheered as Smith fired successfully into the net, scoring the first goal of the game for Penn.

But from then on out, it only went downhill for the Quakers. The Hawks scored four consecutive times against Penn. For much of the game, Penn was unable to break through Saint Joseph’s newfound momentum. Their first break came with a suspenseful three seconds left on the shot clock when sophomore midfielderGriffin Scane banked the ball into the goal.

The Hawks only continued extending their 5-2 lead in the second period, though with less ferocity than the first. Their seemingly impenetrable defense forced Penn attackers to miss left and right, holding the normally high outputting Quakers offense to just two goals.

“We really kind of dug ourselves a hole,” coach Mike Murphy said. “The ball wasn’t going in for us… we built quite a deficit there that we never really quite climbed out of.”

The third quarter continued the same weak trajectory that Penn had already established in the first two quarters, with loose balls and careless defense prevailing once more. Penn seemed to show promising signs of a comeback early on in the quarter, with freshman attacker and midfielder Davis Provost launching the ball into the net to bring the score to 9-5. But 11 more minutes trickled from the timer before Penn scored a second time, and the Quakers ultimately ended the quarter trailing just as far behind as they had been since the end of the second quarter.

Despite the losing score, the Quakers refused to surrender. Seven minutes into the fourth quarter, the momentum had begun shifting in favor of Penn. The crowd cheered with progressively more passion as the Quakers scored three consecutive shots, shortening the Hawks’ lead to three points. With only three minutes left and the ball in Saint Joe's possession, the Red and Blue attempted to orchestrate a turnover — but the Hawks had other plans in store. After a hat trick by Saint Joes attacker Carter Page, and an on-the-run shot from Saint Joseph midfielder Levi Anderson, the Hawks crushed the little hope that the Quakers had left of a comeback, toppling them in a 12-7 defeat.

Reflecting on the loss, Murphy said that the team had been “playing well” prior to this game and emphasized the need to “dial in” again.

“We just need to… execute the game plan defensively and play better offense,” Murphy said. “We had a bunch of turnovers and didn’t shoot well. It was a little bit sloppy.”

This game marks Penn’s last non-conference game of the season. The Quakers will be taking on Dartmouth for their second Ivy League conference game on Saturday, in hopes of winning its sixth Ivy League championship.