Men's Lacrosse Can't Hold on at Duke, Loses 16-11

Box Score (PDF)

DURHAM, N.C. - The Penn men's lacrosse team was playing its season opener Saturday, as well as its first game under new head coach Mike Murphy.

The Quakers' opponent, host Duke, was playing its third game already this season, and the Blue Devils came into the contest with the No. 8 national ranking.

For much of Saturday, none of those factors mattered. Penn got out to a quick start, and held on all the way into the fourth quarter, but Duke overpowered the Quakers down the stretch and gained a 16-11 victory at Koskinen Field.The Devilsimproved to 2-1 with the win.

Penn came out fired up Saturday, and a youth movement pushed the Red and Blue out to a 4-1 lead after one. Sophomore John Conneely got the scoring started, finishing a feed from freshman Rob Fitzpatrick, and then after Zach Howell knotted the score sophomore Dan Savage scored back-to-back goals off feeds from juniors Al Kohart and Corey Winkoff. Fitzpatrick then scoredoff a Will Amling feedin the final minute to push Penn's lead to three goals.

Duke got one of the goals back early in the second when Ned Crotty scored unassisted, but Kohart and Amling scored unassisted goals less than a minute apart to push the Quakers up, 6-2. Max Quinzani got one of those back for Duke, a goal that was answered by Penn's Rob McMullen, and then the Devils' Robert Rotanz netted an unassisted effort with four minutes left in the half to send the teams to the break with Penn up, 7-4.

Crotty and McMullen matched each other with goals in the first two minutes of the third quarter, before Justin Turri and Quinzani scored 1:38 apart to bring Duke within 8-7. Nearly four minutes went by before Amling netted a feed from Winkoff to put Penn back up by two goals, but Quinzani scored his third of the day with 2:09 left. The teams went to the final quarter with Penn up, 9-8.

Josh Offit proved to be the difference. He scored twice in a span of 47 seconds to get the Devils going in the final stanza. Shortly after his two-goal burst, Jonathan Livadas scored in a man-up situation, and Duke was ahead 11-9.

Penn responded. Julian Maldonado netted a goal off a Savage feedwith 12:12 left, and then Conneely scored his second of the day in a man-up situation off a feed fromWinkoff -- the junior's fourth assist of the day --to tie the game with 9:27 to play.

The teams went more than five minutes after that without a goal, adding to the tension. However, Steve Schoeffelfinished aCrotty feed with 4:24 to play to put Duke up, and the floodgates opened. Quinzani scored a man-up goal with 2:52 left, and then hit another shot just eight seconds later. Fifteen seconds after that, Howell notched his second of the day, and then only 39 seconds later Quinzani scored again to close it out.

Chris Casey got the start in goal for Penn, and made 10 saves. At the other end, Dan Wigrizer had eight stops. Justin Lynch won 13 faceoffs on the day and had eight ground balls, while Brian Jackson won both of his efforts on the X.

Penn returns to action Wednesday night, traveling to Lafayette to take on the Leopards. Faceoff will be 7 p.m.

Download: Penn01 (@Duke).pdf