CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team completed its run to the Ivy League Tournament title on Sunday afternoon, using an amazing defensive effort to shut down Harvard, 7-5, at Harvard Stadium.
So the Quakers move to 11-3 overall, and extend their winning streak to eight games which matches the longest since 1988. Penn will await its NCAA Championship fate tonight; the NCAA selection show will air at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
Penn held Harvard (10-6) without a goal for 44 minutes and 58 seconds from the first quarter to the fourth, a stunning display that allowed the Quakers to overcome an early four-goal deficit and its own lengthy offensive drought (21:29).
Both teams had a few possessions without a goal to start the game, before Daniel Eipp opened the scoring for the Crimson with a shot from the left side that beat Brian Feeney up top. Carl Zimmerman found success a few minutes later from nearly the same spot, taking a feed from Brendan Newman and beating Feeney over the left shoulder.
Shortly after that, Peter Schwartz was able to beat his man to the right side and snuck a shot inside the near post that made it 3-0. A little more than a minute later, Devin Dwyer took a feed from Eipp as he came from behind the goal, turned around, and fired a shot inside the far post
Penn immediately answered, as Joe McCallion won the ground ball on the ensuing ground ball on the faceoff and found Kevin Brown who fired home a low-angle shot inside the far post. The Quakers then won the next faceoff, Danny Feeney drew a penalty, and they capitalized as Zack Losco finished a pass from Nick Doktor to make the score 4-2.
Drew Belinsky made it 4-3 about four minutes into the second quarter, when he took a pass near midfield on a clear, drove to goal and fired a shot past Harvard goalie Jake Gambitsky’s right foot. He then fed the tying goal, firing it through the defense in a man-up situation for Losco to finish on the left side. The half ended with the teams level, 4-4.
The third quarter went by without either team scoring, both Feeney and Gambitsky standing tall in their respective cages. Early in the fourth, Doktor finally broke the stalemate and gave the Quakers their first lead of the day when he hit a post-up shot along the ground.
Harvard won the ensuing faceoff, but Penn once again held. Maxx Meyer then made a super play, pushing a contested ground ball to Reid Tudor, who was alone and scooped it up. Tudor drove all the way past midfield down the chute, and fired a long-stick laser into the upper right corner for his second career goal.
Losco made it 7-4 with 5:43 left, as Doktor found his cutting to the goal and Losco converted right in front.
Penn’s shutout streak finally came to an end after almost exactly 45 minutes, as Harvard’s Will Walker got around his defender and was able to beat Feeney from in close with 4:41 to play. Walker later hit the post with a little more than a minute to play, but that was as close as the Crimson got.
Harvard outshot Penn, 37-29, but Feeney was simply outstanding after allowing those first four goals as he made 11 of his 12 saves after that point. On the faceoff X, his twin brother Danny Feeney went 11 of 15.
Losco was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and was joined on the all-tournament team by the Feeney twins as well as Doktor.