ITHACA, N.Y. - The first time Penn and Harvard played this season, on April 16 in Cambridge, Mass., Penn never trailed. And while the host Crimson came back three times to tie the game, ultimately Penn won in double overtime, 7-6.
Friday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., things could not have been more different. In an Ivy League Tournament semifinal, third-seeded Harvard seemed a step ahead of Penn from the opening face-off. The Quakers were unable to make up for the Crimson's first-half roundhouse -- in particular, a knockout blow that bridged the first and second quarters -- and took a 12-8 loss.
Harvard improved to 10-5 with the win, and will face the winner of Friday night's second semifinal between No. 1 seed Cornell and No. 4 seed Yale on Sunday. For Penn, at 8-6, the chances of making the 16-team NCAA Championship field took a significant hit. That field will be announced on Sunday night.
Harvard the game's first two goals, as Jeff Cohen and then Ryan Stevens both scored feeds from Dean Gibbons. Penn responded with its first goal about a minute later, as John Conneely bounced a long-range shot that just tucked in under the crossbar. Ryan Parietti was credited with the assist.
Harvard exploded at that point, though, scoring six times in a span of 9:25 that started in the first quarter and ended midway through the second.
The Crimson's third goal came with 2:48 left in the first quarter, as Jack Doyle got free and scored an unassisted effort. Then, with just 17 seconds left, Daniel Eipp beat his defender behind the goal and fed Cohen for a quick-stick goal that made the score 4-1 after one.
Harvard kept it going in the second quarter. Penn committed the game's first penalty, and the Crimson made the Quakers pay quickly as Gibbons rifled home a shot from the left wing off a Kevin Vaughan feed. Harvard then won the ensuing faceoff, and Cohen got wide open in front and easily finished a Doyle feed as Harvard again beat the slide.
With 10 minutes left in the second, Penn was called for another penalty -- and once again, Gibbons made the Quakers pay. Stevens had the assist, and that put Harvard up 7-1.
Penn got the goal back almost immediately, as Harvard was called for its first penalty during the face-off scrum and the Quakers scored. Conneely fired a long-range shot from the right wing off a Dan Savage feed.
Harvard had the answer. The Crimson won the ensuing faceoff, and eventually Eipp shook free on the left side to score unassisted. Penn made the score 8-3 just before the halftime horn when Drew Belinsky shook off a defender and fired a left-handed shot from in front with six seconds left.
Harvard won nine of the 13 facaeoffs in the opening half, and outshot Penn in the first half, 22-12. Quaker goalie Brian Feeney was forced to make seven saves. At the other end, Harry Krieger needed to make just four stops as he was rarely tested.
Penn's first two possessions were mired by early turnovers, and Harvard made it 9-3 with 11:50 left in the third when Terry White made a nice move from behind the goal to score unassisted. Penn got it back less than a minute later when Al Kohart fired a long-range shot from up top that beat Krieger. Belinsky had the assist. Just two minutes after that, Kohart made a nice move near the goal on the right side, turned to his left and tucked a shot inside the far post.
Penn had possession after that, and had a pair of nice chances to cut the deficit to three. However, out of nowhere Belinsky was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty. It looked like the Quakers might escape the non-releasable penalty unscathed, but a midfield scrum for the ball went to the Crimson and they quickly scored as Stevens fed a breakaway pass to Peter Schwartz behind the Penn defense. Schwartz faked Feeney out of the goal, then scored into the empty net.
Harvard made it 11-5 almost immediately in the fourth quarter -- off the faceoff, Vaughan called his own number and scored just five seconds in. Four minutes after that, Gibbons took a low-angle shot from the right wing that flew past Feeney's right shoulder and inside the far post.
Penn made it 12-6 with 10:19 to play. Savage took a long-range shot that Krieger stopped, but the rebound went to Rob Fitzpatrick and he pushed a shot past the out-of-position Krieger. The Quakers made it 12-7 just 1:37 later, as Kohart fired a grounder from up top that Krieger could not catch up with. Corey Winkoff had the assist.
Penn had a great chance to make it 12-8 just seconds later, when Fitzpatrick got the ball wide open in front of the Harvard goal. Rather than turn and face the goal, though, the junior tried to catch Krieger off-guard by flipping a no-look shot ball. It missed the goal, and Krieger won the race to the ball to give possession back to the Crimson.
Penn's final goal came from Savage from Parietti with 1:36 left in the game.
Kohart ended theg ame with three goals, while conneely had two. Savage and Belinsky each had a goal and an assist. Harvard was led by Gibbons (3 goals, 2 assists), while Cohen also scored three times. Feeney and Krieger each ended up with nine saves.