PHILADELPHIA – Buzz became reality for men’s lacrosse in its season opener as an unranked Quakers squad took it right to a 14th-ranked Duke team which would go on to win a national championship, 14-9, at Franklin Field on February 22.
The convincing win jumpstarted an 8-5 season for Mike Murphy’s club, reaching the Ivy League Tournament and also knocking off No. 7 Princeton along the way. The effort against the Blue Devils caught the eye of the national lacrosse community and earns men’s lacrosse the No. 10 spot on the “Penn Top 10” celebrating the best moments from Penn Athletics in 2012-13.
After opening some eyes during preseason scrimmages, the Red and Blue caught everyone’s attention with its overall dominating effort against the Blue Devils. Playing its first game of the season, Penn committed just 12 turnovers, including only four in the second half while Duke was coughing the ball up six times. Trailing by a goal at halftime, 7-6, Penn utilized the advantage in possession to storm back with eight goals in the final 30 minutes to just a pair from the Blue Devils. In the second half, Penn threw everything it had towards goal, outshooting Duke, 26-12.
Tim Schwalje would finish the game with three goals and four assists, including three points in the fourth quarter as Penn closed the final frame on a 5-1 run to break open a one-goal lead through three quarters.
The win over Duke propelled Penn to a 5-1 start to the season, three of those wins coming against Top-20 opponents. The Blue Devils would return to Philadelphia in May to play in the NCAA Final Four, ultimately winning the national championship via a 16-10 win over Syracuse on Memorial Day. Duke was one of three teams competing in the Final Four which Penn played during the regular season, part of Penn’s second-toughest strength of schedule among all Division I teams.
The 2012-13 Penn Top 10 list was selected by members of the athletic department. But here is your chance to weigh in. Was this game ranked too high or too low? Who should be No. 1? Tell us what you think on Twitter with #PennTop10 or give us your thoughts on Facebook.
2012-13 Penn Top 10
No. 1 - July 17
No. 2 - July 15
No. 3 - July 10
No. 4 - July 8
No. 5 – July 3
No. 6 – July 1
No. 7 – June 26
No. 8 – June 24
No. 9 – June 19
No. 10 - Men's Lacrosse Rolls Past #14 Duke, 14-9