PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team was slowed down considerably on Tuesday night; just four days after scoring 14 goals against then-No. 14 Duke, the Quakers were held to just six goals by an unranked Saint Joseph's squad.
Fortunately, the six goals were just enough.
Sophomore Will Laco scored with 3:33 left in regulation -- his first collegiate goal -- and while the game came down to the final seconds that proved to be the winner as the Quakers escaped the Hawks in the latest installment of this local rivalry, 6-5, at Franklin Field.
Penn (2-0) got off to a slow start Tuesday night, but outshot SJU 26-7 in the second half. Even so, the Quakers only scored twice in the final 30 minutes -- but that was one more than Saint Joseph's scored in that span.
Both teams scored twice in both the first and second quarters. Matthew Franchak opened the scoring just 1:27 into the game for Saint Joseph's, but Zack Losco leveled the game just 1:11 later. Less than three minutes after that, Ryan Parietti finished a Joe McCallion pass that put Penn up, 2-1. Saint Joseph's tied the game at 2-2 on Pat Swanick's first goal of the night with 4:42 left.
In the second quarter, SJU (2-2) opened up a two-goal lead in the first half of the stanza off goals by Swanick and Johnny Simanski. Penn fought back to tie it before halftime, though, as Tim Schwalje scored with 1:09 left before halftime and then Chris Hupfeldt leveled the game with just five seconds left.
Penn outshot Saint Joseph's, 15-1, in the third quarter, but the only goal came just 1:29 into the quarter when Drew Belinsky bulled his way through a defender and then fired home a shot from distance.
Saint Joseph's tied the game at 5-5 with 12:09 to play, and then the two teams took turns trying to regain the lead. SJU looked like it might have gained the advantage, but the goal was waved off due to a crease violation.
Laco put Penn on top shortly after that; he reared back and fired from about 15 yards out in front and the shot beat SJU goalie Dustin Keen over his right shoulder. The Quakers scored another goal, Parietti finishing a nice feed, but he was called for being in the crease.
With just 26 seconds left, Schwalje came out of a timeout and tried to score into an open goal but his shot hit the post. SJU got the ground ball and was able to get on offense, but the Hawks' final shot was wide and time ran out before they could get a second shot off.
Brian Feeney had another solid performance in goal for Penn, making eight saves (six alone in the second quarter). Keen had eight stops for SJU.
Penn returns to action this weekend, traveling to Denver to take on the 10th-ranked University of Denver. Faceoff between the Quakers and Pioneers is set for 2 p.m. (4 Eastern).