PHILADELPHIA - It was down. It was up. It was emotional. It was a crazy way to start a new weekend in what is proving to be a crazy Ivy League race.
In the end, the 13th-ranked Penn men's lacrosse team got a goal in the third overtime session from freshman Drew Belinsky -- his only goal of the game -- and that allowed the Quakers to defeat No. 15 Yale, 10-9, Friday afternoon at a raw and at times rainy Franklin Field. It was the longest game played by the Penn men's lacrosse program since April 28, 1973 when the Quakers lost a 9-8 decision at Cornell in five overtimes.
With the win, Penn improves to 5-3 on the season and is now 2-1 in the Ivy League. The Quakers are 5-0 at home this season and can complete their first undefeated home slate since 2004 with a win over Dartmouth on April 23. Yale fell to 5-2 overall, 1-2 Ivy.
Breaking down the field on the right side, Belinsky found a seam between a pair of Yale defenders as it looked like he was going to head behind the goal. Instead, he quickly moved to his left and raced through the seam to get in front of the goal and put home a left-handed effort past Bulldog goalie Johnathan Falcone. It ended a tense standoff, as both teams had chances in the first two extra sessions after a back-and-forth regulation that saw Penn overcome a three-goal halftime deficit and Yale score the last two goals to force OT.
Penn started quickly in this game, as Corey Winkoff scored unassisted just 76 seconds in. Yale evened it up with Gregory Mahony scored off a Brandon Mangan assist, and then Matt Gibson fed Brian Douglass to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later, Winkoff fed Ryan Parietti for a goal, and the score was 2-2 after one period.
Yale reeled off three goals in a 2:10 span early in the second to gain command. Gibson went unassisted 1:10 into the quarter, and then Matt Miller netted his own unassisted goal just 33 seconds later. Gibson fed Mangan for the Bulldogs' fifth goal, with 11:40 left.
Penn got one of the goals back with 4:09 left before halftime, Rob Fitzpatrick finishing a Winkoff feed. However, Douglass scored Yale's third unassisted goal of the quarter with 2:10 left, and the Bulldogs were up 6-3 at the break.
Penn rallied, scoring five straight goals in the third. Al Kohart got the party started with an unassisted goal at the 12:18 mark, and then Dan Savage scored three in a row to push the Red and Blue into the lead. The first was unassisted and came just 30 seconds after Kohart's goal, and the second came a minute later off a Winkoff feed. Four minutes later, Penn broke the deadlock when Winkoff again fed Savage for Penn's second man-up goal in a row. A mere seven seconds after that, Danny Feeney won the faceoff and immediately found Fitzpatrick to put Penn up 8-6.
Fitzpatrick was called for unsportsmanlike after that goal, however, and Yale made Penn pay as Gibson scored an unassisted, man-up goal. However, Fitzpatrick made up for his mistake with yet another man-up goal for Penn, an unassisted effort with 4:15 left in the quarter. That would be all the scoring, and the game went to the fourth quarter with the Quakers up 9-7.
After a wild third, things slowed down significantly in the fourth. No one scored until just 3:30 was left, as Yale's Miller drew the Bulldogs within a goal on an unassisted effort. Penn was able to gain control of the ball after that, but could not run out the clock, and Yale drew level on another unassisted Miller goal with just 37 seconds left.
Brian Feeney -- who had five of his six saves in the game after halftime -- made the only save either goalie would make in the overtimes early in the first, stopping a Mangan shot just four seconds in. Penn had a man-up situation in the first OT but could not capitalize. In the second extra session, Yale controlled the action and peppered five shots at the Penn cage, missing the mark on all of them. Penn finally won the ball, and Zack Losco had a chance to end it when he got ahead of everyone on the clear; however, his effort also went wide.
Penn won the faceoff in the third OT, and after a timeout Belinsky ended it with his heroics.
Winkoff finished the game with five points to lead all scorers, while Fitzpatrick and Savage had three goals each. For Yale, Miller finished with three goals while Gibson had four points (2g, 2a).
Penn will be on the road the next two weekends for Ivy League action, starting next Saturday (April 9) when the Quakers are at Brown for a 1 p.m. start. Penn is then at Harvard the following Saturday (April 16), also at 1 p.m.