DENVER, Colo. - The Penn men's lacrosse team fell to No. 6 and defending NCAA champion Virginia, 10-8, in the first game of the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic presented by Inside Lacrosse.
The Quakers finished the 2012 season at 3-10, while Virginia improved to 11-3 with the win.
Playing at Sports Authority Field, the home of the NFL's Denver Broncos, the Quakers got off to a slow start in front of a good-sized crowd. However, they came back strong in the second quarter and basically matched wits with the Cavaliers the rest of the way. It was not until the final two minutes that UVA was able to build a comfortable margin.
Last year's Tewaaraton Award recipient as the national player of the year, Virginia's Steele Stanwick was every bit of that on Friday night. He led the Cavaliers with six goals and an assist. Chris Bocklet scored twice, while Matt White dished off two assists.
Bocklet started the scoring just 1:11 into the game, off a feed from White, and then Stanwick scored his first off a feed from Owen Van Arsdale just 2:10 after that. Conneely finished a Schwalje feed with 6:12 left in the quarter to halve the deficit, but Stanwick scored twice in a span of 2:35 to make the score 4-1, UVA.
Penn got one of those goals back with just two seconds left in the quarter, as Savage finished a Schwalje feed. That set the tone for a vastly improved second stanza, as Penn scored three in a row to take a 5-4 lead. Savage started the scoring, then Parietti finished a feed from Will Koshansky to tie the game with 6:53 left in the half.
Savage then gave the Red and Blue its first lead with an unassisted goal with 2:06 left. Stanwick tied the game up with 43 seconds left, finishing a White feed, and it was 5-5 at the break.
Rob Emery put UVA up to start the third quarter, but Parietti finished a feed from Rob Fitzpatrick to tie the game again. Stanwick again gave Virginia the lead, but against Penn tied it, this time Schwalje rifling home a feed from Zack Losco with just nine seconds left in the quarter.
Stanwick gave the Cavs a lead they would not relinquish midway through the fourth quarter, scoring an unassisted goal with 7:59 to play. UVA built its lead up to two goals with 3:42 left when Mark Cockerton. Bocklet made it 10-7 with just 1:14 left, off a Stanwick pass. Conneely closed out the scoring with 11 seconds left, scoring an unassisted goal.
In an evenly played game throughout, Virginia outshot Penn just 33-32 and won 11 faceoffs to the Quakers' 10. Penn sophomore Brian Feeney struggled in goal in the first quarter, allowing four goals without a save, but recovered and had a strong effort after that. He finished the night with 10 saves. At the other end, Rob Fortunato had six stops for UVA.