PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team is back home this weekend, hosting Yale in a critical Ivy League matchup for both teams. The 13th-ranked Quakers and Bulldogs will face off at 1 p.m. at Franklin Field.
GAME 8 – #13 PENN (5-2, 1-1) vs. Yale (3-3, 0-2)
Saturday, March 30, 2013 * 1 p.m.
Franklin Field (Philadelphia)
TV: PennAthletics.com (there is a charge for this service)
The Series with Yale
The Quakers and the Big Red have met 86 times in men’s lacrosse, with Cornell holding a sizable 60-23 lead (with three ties) including each of the last six meetings, seven of the last eight, and 13 of the last 15. The last time these teams met in Ithaca, two years ago, the Quakers took the Big Red to overtime before falling, 13-12.
The Bulldogs (3-3, 0-2) have had a hard-luck start to Ivy League play, falling in close decisions to preseason favorites Cornell (12-10) and Princeton (10-9). Brandon Mangan leads the Yale attack with 15 goals, 11 assists and 26 points. Conrad Oberbeck tops the Bulldogs with 17 goals, while Kirby Zdrill has 13 goals. Colin Flaherty has 10 points (5g, 5a). In goal, Eric Natale has an 8.92 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage. The defense is anchored by a pair of All-Ivy players, Peter Johnson and Michael McCormack.
*At 5-2 overall, Penn is off to its best start since 2006, when the Quakers were 6-1 at this point; that team would improve to 8-1 and 10-2 before finishing the season 10-4 overall after advancing to the NCAA Championship first round.
*Penn is ranked No. 13 in this week’s USILA national coaches poll; the Quakers’ No. 9 ranking last week was its best in that poll since the Quakers were seventh in the April 10, 2006 poll.
*Penn has defeated three teams ranked in the USILA poll at the time of their game with the Quakers (No. 14 Duke, No. 17 Lehigh, No. 7 Princeton) and lost to two others (No. 10 Denver, No. 2 Cornell).
*In last Saturday’s loss at Cornell, Penn held the Big Red nearly four goals below their season average; senior defender Anthony Santomo was a major reason that Cornell’s standout attackman Rob Pannell had a season-low three points (2g, 1a).
*Penn is averaging 9.57 goals per game so far this season; last year the Quakers averaged 7.85 goals per game, two years ago it was 8.20 per contest.
*Penn had at least six goalscorers in each of its first six games, before having just four players score last Saturday at Cornell.
*Twice this season the Quakers had just six goals in a game, and both times six different players scored those six goals (Saint Joseph’s and Lehigh).
*Thirteen different players have scored Penn's 67 goals, and the Quakers have almost an equal mix of unassisted goals (35) vs. assisted (32); in other words, a lot of guys are finding a lot of different ways to score.
*Penn has outscored its opponents in the fourth quarter, 23-14, so far this season.
*Penn has outshot its opponents 159-105 in the second half this season (80-45 in the third quarter, 79-60 in the fourth).
*Penn went a perfect 4-of-4 on man-up opportunities on March 16 against Princeton, improving to 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) on the season.
*Senior Tim Schwalje was Penn's leading returning scorer from last year, and he is leading the team so far this season in assists (12) and points (23).
*Schwalje had hat tricks against Duke and Denver, and has gone for multiple points in each of the last five games after opening the season with seven points against Duke.
*Schwalje has a point in 19 straight games; he is the only Penn player to have a point in every game so far this season, and scored in every game last season.
*Junior Zack Losco has seven goals in Penn’s last three games and 10 in the last five, including hat tricks against Villanova and Denver; he leads the Quakers with 12 goals.
*Sophomore Isaac Bock scored once last season; he is currently tied with Schwalje for second on the team with 11 goals this season, including a four-goal game in the season opener against Duke and hat tricks vs. Villanova and Princeton.
*After a stellar freshman campaign in 2011, Drew Belinsky broke his ankle prior to his sophomore season and never seemed to fully get over it. After a career-high four-point game against Princeton (2g, 2a), he has 12 points so far this season (8g, 6a).
*Belinsky has five multi-point outings this season, including each of the last three games.
*In his collegiate debut, freshman Nick Doktor scored twice; in fact, in his first quarter as a collegian he scored twice. He has nine points (8g, 2a) so far this season, and on March 9 vs. Villanova he recorded his first collegiate hat trick.
*Doktor has scored in each of the last four games, has a point in the last five games (and six of seven so far this season).
*Another freshman, Mark Leonhard, also scored in his first collegiate game, then scored a goal on March 5 at Lehigh.
*Senior Ryan Parietti had three assists vs. Princeton, and has eight points so far this season (4g, 4a).
*Sophomores Will Laco and Chris Hupfeldt saw no game action last year (Hupfeldt due to injury); Laco had a three-game goalscoring streak that was snapped vs. Villanova, while "Hup" has had goals against Saint Joseph's and Denver and recorded an assist at Cornell.
*Senior defenseman Anthony Santomo scored against Duke, the captain's first collegiate goal; he is joined as a captain by Schwalje, fellow classmate Brendan Engelke, a goalie, and junior defenseman Maxx Meyer.
*Santomo leads Penn with 15 caused turnovers -- good for ninth nationally -- while fellow close defenseman Matt McMahon has 10 and Meyer has nine each; Meyer also has 21 ground balls.
*Junior Danny Feeney has taken a majority of Penn's faceoffs this season (108 of 153); he has a .528 win percentage on the X and a team-high 35 ground balls.
*Feeney went 9-of-17 on the X last Saturday at Cornell, and has also been over 50 percent against Villanova (16-23), Denver (9-17) and Saint Joseph’s (8-14).
*Sophomore Joe McCallion, who is running on the second midfield -- he has two goals and an assist this season -- has taken the other 45 faceoffs this season and has a .422 win percentage.
*Keep an eye on No. 28, Matt Machucki; after three years as an attackman, the sizable senior has moved into a long-stick middie position. In the last two games, he has scored his first collegiate goals.
*Another player who recorded his first career point recently was senior middie Dave Twamley, who had an assist against Princeton; he is one of two seniors who made the move from the Penn football team after that season ended last fall.
*In goal, junior Brian Feeney had a career-high 17 saves while allowing just four goals on March 5 at Lehigh; it was a nice comeback for the junior, who had just six saves while allowing 15 goals at Denver. (In the last three games, he has 30 saves while allowing 29 goals).
*Feeney -- who has been Penn's No. 1 almost his entire career -- has an 8.86 goals-against average (22nd nationally) and a .551 save percentage (25th) so far this season.
*Penn has five players who were UnderArmour All-America selections in high school: juniors Drew Belinsky and Brian Feeney, and freshmen Nick Doktor, Pat Berkery and Sam Rohr (both Berkery and Rohr are expected to miss this season due to injury).
*Two other players who have not yet seen time this year, Berkery and freshman Rob Savage, were on the Garden City (N.Y.) team that was ranked No. 1 at the end of last year.
*If the Savage name looks familiar to Penn fans, your intuition is correct -- Rob is indeed the brother of Dan Savage, who graduated last year and played four years on the Quaker lacrosse team.
*Penn lacrosse continues to be a family affair for McCallion, whose sister, Kelly, is a senior and a member of the Quakers' Ivy League champion women's lacrosse team.
*If Saturday's game gets to overtime, beware Drew Belinsky; as a freshman, he scored the OT winner in two different games, against Yale and Harvard.
*Penn welcomed two former Quaker football players to the roster this season, seniors Dave Twamley and C.J. Mooney. Both players were starters on defense for the Ivy League champs this fall -- in fact, they won three rings during their tenure on the gridiron -- and Twamley was a second-team All-Ivy recipient. Twamley has seen regular game action in the midfield.