PHILADELPHIA – Having lost its last two Ivy League games, the University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team faces a pair of important conference road games over the next two weekends as the 17th-ranked Quakers fight to earn a berth in the Ivy League Tournament in May. The first of those road trips comes this weekend, as Penn is at Brown for a 3 p.m. start on Saturday at the Bears' Stevenson Field.
GAME 9 – #17 PENN (5-3, 1-2) at Brown (5-3, 1-1)
Saturday, April 6, 2013 * 3 p.m.
Stevenson Field (Providence, R.I.)
TV: BrownBears.com (there is a charge for this service)
The Series with Brown
The Quakers and the Bears have met 50 times previously, with Brown holding a 31-19 lead in the series. Brown has won three in a row and four of the last five over Penn, including an 11-10 decision last year and a 13-12 victory in 2011. Since 2000, these teams have played five games decided by one goal; four games decided by two goals; and two games decided by three goals.
Like Penn, the Bears (5-3, 1-1 Ivy) have lost two in row, the losses coming to Princeton (15-8) and UNC. Brown’s Ivy win came over Harvard, 11-9, on March 16. Henry Blynn leads the Bears in scoring, with 19 goals and 27 points, while Sam Hurster has 21 points (16g, 5a). George Sherman leads Brown with 12 assists, and he has 17 points while ties him with Nick Piroli (11g, 6a). Two other players, Alex Jones and Johnny DePeters, are in double figures in the points column, as well. In goal, Jack Kelly has played most of the minutes; he has a 10.23 goals-against average and a .504 save percentage. On defense, Sam Ford was a second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago (as was Hurster).
Around the Ivy League
All seven teams are in action on Saturday. In addition to Penn and Brown, Cornell (3-0) faces off with Harvard (1-1) in Cambridge at 1 p.m., while Dartmouth (0-2) is at Yale (1-2) for a 2:30 p.m. start. Princeton (2-1) has the bye this weekend, and hosts Syracuse at 5 p.m.
*Penn is ranked No. 17 in this week’s USILA national coaches poll; the Quakers’ No. 9 ranking two weeks ago 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). Brown has been on the USILA poll sheet for five straight weeks, with a high ranking of No. 19 two weeks ago and being among the teams also receiving votes the other four weeks.
*In Penn’s 10-5 loss at Cornell on March 23, Penn held the Big Red nearly five 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 had at least six goal-scorers in each of its first six games, before having just four players score at Cornell and five last weekend vs. Yale.
*Three times this season the Quakers have had just six goals in a game; in two of those contests, six different players scored those six goals (Saint Joseph’s and Lehigh), while last week against Yale five players scored.
*Fourteen different players have scored Penn's 73 goals, and the Quakers have almost an equal mix of unassisted goals (37) vs. assisted (36); 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, 25-15, so far this season.
*Penn has outshot its opponents 178-121 in the second half this season (90-52 in the third quarter, 88-69 in the fourth).
*Penn has been a perfect 6-of-6 on man-up situations over the last three games (7-of-8 over the last four), improving to 10-of-20 (50.0 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 (15) and points (27).
*Schwalje had hat tricks against Duke and Denver, and has gone for multiple points in each of the last six games after opening the season with seven points against Duke.
*Schwalje has a point in 20 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.
*Schwalje not only has a point in every game this season; he has also scored at least one goal in each game.
*Junior Zack Losco has nine goals in Penn’s last four games and 12 in the last six, including hat tricks against Villanova and Denver; he leads the Quakers with 14 goals.
*Sophomore Isaac Bock scored once last season; he is currently tied with Schwalje for second on the team with 12 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. He has 15 points so far this season (9g, 6a).
*Belinsky has five multi-point outings this season, including three in the last four games.
*In his collegiate debut, freshman Nick Doktor scored twice; in fact, in his first quarter as a collegian he scored twice. He has 11 points so far this season (8g, 3a), and on March 9 vs. Villanova he recorded his first collegiate hat trick.
*Doktor had a four-game goal-scoring streak snapped last weekend, but he has a point in the last six games (and seven of eight 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 18 caused turnovers -- good for seventh nationally -- while fellow close defenseman Matt McMahon has 14 and Meyer has 11; Meyer also has 23 ground balls.
*Junior Danny Feeney has taken a majority of Penn's faceoffs this season (124 of 170); he has a .524 win percentage on the X and a team-high 40 ground balls.
*Feeney went 8-of-16 on the X last Saturday vs. Yale, and has also been over 50 percent against Villanova (16-23), Denver (9-17), Cornell (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 46 faceoffs this season and has a .413 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. With the long stick, he has scored his first collegiate goals (against Princeton and Cornell).
*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 8.59 goals-against average (18th nationally) and a .552 save percentage (20th) 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.