PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team got off to a slow start on Saturday against No. 6 Denver, but the 20th-ranked Quakers roared back late and stunned the Pioneers, 12-10, at Franklin Field.
Penn (2-1) scored four of the last five goals in Saturday’s contest and five of the last seven. After not leading at any point in the game’s first 51 minutes, the Quakers went up 10-9 with 8:32 left and never looked back in gaining the victory.
It was all Denver in the first quarter; the Pioneers outshot Penn, 12-7, and held a 5-1 lead at the end of the period. Jack Bobzien got things started for the visitors, scoring unassisted just 2:56 into the game, before Wesley Berg finished a Tyler Pace feed to make it 2-0. Penn got one of those goals back when Kevin Brown launched a missile in a man-up situation, but Zach Miller sandwiched a pair of goals around another Bobzien tally (off a Harrison Archer feed) that left Denver in control.
Chris Moriarty made it 5-2 early in the second quarter, but Penn squandered a rare 6-on-3 opportunity and instead Bobzien netted his third of the day to make the score 6-2 with 10:27 to play in the first half.
Penn woke up. Mark Leonhard rebounded a missed shot and finished it to make the score 6-3, then Nick Doktor (from Isaac Bock) and Brown (from Doktor) scored to make it a one-goal game with 2:23 left before halftime.
Denver went back up by two goals when Jeremy Noble scored with 1:03 left, but then a spectacular defensive interception by Zack Losco led to a fast break and a Bock goal with just two seconds left on the clock. The teams went into the locker rooms with the Pioneers up, 7-6.
Denver scored the first goal of the second half, Miller netting his third just 52 seconds in, but Penn finally drew level late in the period after Brown’s third of the day (off a Joe McCallion feed) and then Losco’s first (off a Berkery feed). The teams went to the final quarter knotted at 8-8.
Denver again went ahead, this time Berg finishing a Noble feed. Nearly five minutes went off the clock after that, before Penn again tied the game as Jeff Puckette finished a Doktor feed to make it 9-9. Berkery then made a nice individual move to score and put the Quakers up for the first time in the game. Just 1:05 after that, Doktor rifled home a shot for his own unassisted goal, and that doubled the Red and Blue’s advantage.
Denver got one of the goals back with 5:22 left, when Erik Adamson scored unassisted, but Bock finished off the scoring with 2:42 left off a Berkery feed.
Denver outshot Penn, 35-32, but Brian Feeney made eight saves to gain the victory in the Quakers goal. Brian’s twin brother, Danny Feeney, was 9/18 on face-offs but had some big wins in the second half as Penn was mounting its comeback and taking its lead.
Penn returns to action next Saturday, facing off with regional rival Villanova in a game that will be televised live on Fox College Sports. The Quakers and Wildcats will face off at 5 p.m.