DENVER - The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team and Denver engaged in a spirited, high-scoring affair on Saturday afternoon at the Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Pioneers emerged victorious, 15-12.
Tim Schwalje had three goals and two assists to lead Penn, while Zack Losco scored three goals and had a dish. However, the story of the day was Denver's Wes Berg; he scored seven goals to lead the Pioneers.
The tone of this game was set in the first quarter, as the teams combined to score 10 goals (five each).
Eric Law opened the scoring just 54 seconds for Denver, but Will Laco matched him just over two minutes later off a Schwalje assist. Denver again went up, 2-1, off Eric Adamson's goal just 38 seconds later, but Penn scored the next four goals as Schwalje scored unassisted, Drew Belinsky netted a Nick Doktor feed, and then Isaac Bock and Schwalje went unassisted. It was 5-2 with 1:16 left in the quarter.
Denver rolled three goals in the final minute of the quarter, a critical juncture, all of them coming out of the stick of Berg. The Pioneers then scored the first three goals of the second quarter, the first from Nobe and then two more from Berg. Just like that, Denver was up, 8-5.
Penn responded. Losco scored his first goal of the game, unassisted, and then Schwalje completed his hat trick off a Belinsky feed. However, Denver scored the final two goals of the half, first from Cameron Flint and then again from Berg. It was 10-7, Pioneers, at the half.
Losco got one of those goals back just 42 seconds into the third, but Noble started a four-goal Denver run that bridged into the fourth quarter less than a minute later. After him, Law, then Adamson twice - once in the third, once in the fourth - and Denver's lead was 14-8 with 12 minutes to play.
Penn had one final run in it. Chris Hupfeldt finished a Losco feed with 11:22 left, then 34 seconds later Ryan Parietti scored unassisted. It took more than seven minutes, but then Belinsky finished a Schwalje feed, and then 31 seconds later Losco made it even more nervy for Denver's fans with another unassisted goal.
Berg finished off his night with the final goal of the game with 1:21 left, preserving the victory.
Penn outshot Denver in the game, 46-34, and won 17 of the game's 31 faceoffs.
Penn returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to Lehigh to face the 17th-ranked Mountain Hawks. Those two teams will face off at 7 p.m.