PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team fought back from a two-goal deficit two different times on Saturday, but it was washed away in a second as Yale scored in overtime to defeat the 13th-ranked Quakers, 7-6, at Franklin Field.
With the loss, Penn fell to 5-3 overall, 1-2 in Ivy League play. Yale, which had been a hard-luck team with Ivy losses to frontrunners Cornell and Princeton, improved to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play.
Penn won the faceoff to start overtime, Danny Feeney again besting Yale’s Dylan Levings. However, the Quakers’ possession went by the boards as Drew Belinsky’s quick-stick shot was stopped by Yale goalkeeper Eric Natale. The Bulldogs brought the ball down, and Brandon Mangan completed a superb game by coming around to the left post from behind and finding an open Kirby Zdrill in front. Zdrill quick-sticked the shot past Brian Feeney to end it.
It was a day where offense was hard to come by, especially of the 6-on-6 variety.
It did not appear that would be the case early. Penn jumped out to a 2-0 lead just three minutes into the game, first Zack Losco scoring unassisted and then Will Davy rebounding and finishing a shot less than a minute later.
As it turned out, that was pretty much Penn’s offense in the quarter. Yale outshot the Quakers 13-5 in the period, 23-7 in the half, and if the Bulldogs had put the ball on target more this game could have been a lot different. Instead, the first goal did not come until just 4:33 remained in the half, Mangan finally scoring in a man-up situation off a John-Willi McGovern feed. The penalty was a non-releasable, and Yale took advantage to score again, Mangan and McGovern reversing roles the second time.
Colin Flaherty gave Yale its first lead with 3:08 left in the half on an unassisted goal. In the third quarter, nearly 10 minutes went by before anyone scored, again Mangan from McGovern on the extra man to give the Bulldogs a 43 advantage.
Penn ended a scoreless drought of 38 minutes and 40 seconds when Losco finished a Tim Schwalje feed in a man-up situation, then Schwalje evened the score off a feed from Nick Doktor with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Yale responded. Mangan finished a Zdrill feed with 1:36 left in the third, then opened the fourth-quarter scoring with an unassisted tally, his fourth of the game. That made the score 6-4.
Penn made it 6-5 when Belinsky rocketed a feed from Schwalje past Natale, and then the Quakers drew level again on a crazy sequence that saw Yale called for two one-minute penalties (one non-releasable), get the ball back, but then be offsides on offense after breaking Penn’s pressure defense. Given a second chance, Penn made no mistake -- Schwalje found Isaac Bock, and he finished to tie it. That set the stage for overtime.
Yale outshot Penn 40-27 for the game, and the face-off battle was fairly even as Yale won it 9-8. Feeney ended the game with nine saves in the Penn cage, while Natale had 10 stops for Yale.
Penn returns to action next Saturday, traveling to Providence for another Ivy League game against Brown. The Quakers and the Bears will face off at 3 p.m.