PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team had the upper hand most of the way during Saturday’s game against Brown at Franklin Field, but the Quakers needed a late run to ultimately overcome the Bears, 10-8.
Penn scored five straight goals in the first half to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead. The Quakers never trailed again after that, but the Bears used three straight goals to draw level at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter. However, Penn answered with its own three-goal run, two of them in man-up situations, and that put this one to rest.
The first quarter was a wild affair, as the teams combined for eight goals in the opening 15 minutes. Isaac Bock got Penn on the board first, finishing a feed from Nick Doktor. Brown answered two minutes later with Kylor Bellistri’s first goal of the day, and then he scored a second just two minutes after that to make it 2-1 Bears. Tyler Landis made it 3-1 less than a minute later.
Penn roared back with four goals in a 3:19 span late in the period. Long-stick middie Alex Blonsky got the run started, and then Kevin Brown tied the game with an unassisted goal. Blonsky added his second just 10 seconds later off a Chris Hupfeldt feed to put the Quakers up, 4-3. Pat Berkery closed the quarter’s scoring with his first of the day, again from Hupfeldt.
Penn made it 6-3 early in the second quarter, Doktor scoring unassisted. The only other goal in the period came from Brown’s Stephen Chmil, and it was 6-4 Penn at the break.
A solid defensive play by Matt McMahon to start the third quarter led to a fast-break opportunity at the other end, and once again Blonsky was involved. This time he got the ball behind the Brown goal, fed Zack Losco out front, and Losco in turn fed Danny Feeney who put it away easily.
It took some time – more than a full quarter of action, actually – but Brown scored three times and tied it. Brendan Caputo started the run innocently enough with 10:57 to play in the third, and then neither team scored for more than a quarter of action before Sam Hurster finished a Chmil feed to make it 7-6. A Penn player hit Hurster after the goal for a penalty, and in the ensuing man-up situation Hurster tied the score off a Bailey Tills feed.
The tie lasted less than a minute. The ensuing faceoff could not be controlled by anyone, and when it finally landed in a Penn player’s stick (for about a second, before he lost it) a Brown player was penalized for pushing. The Quakers went man-up, and Berkery netted his second of the day off a Kevin Brown feed.
Nearly five minutes went by before Doktor finished a Losco feed with 4:59 to play, again in a man-up situation. Losco closed out Penn’s scoring shortly after that, taking the ball out of a timeout, motoring past his man near the left sideline, and driving up the middle to beat Brown goalie Jack Kelly.
Brown briefly had life, scoring with exactly three minutes left, but the Bears got no closer.
Penn outshot Brown, 37-31, and Brian Feeney had five saves in the Quakers goal as he got the win. At the other end, Kelly made eight stops.
Penn is at home again next Saturday, hosting Harvard in another Ivy League contest. The Quakers and Crimson will face off at 1 p.m.