PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team played the earliest game in program history, by date, on Saturday -- and the weather was every bit of mid-February. Despite that, the 13th-ranked Quakers dusted off the snowy conditions and took care of business with a 10-8 victory over UMBC at Franklin Field.
Kevin McGeary scored three goals in his collegiate debut to lead the Penn attack, while Nick Doktor recorded three points (2g, 1a) and Austin Kreinz added a pair of goals. Junior Rob Savage saw the first significant action of his career on the face-off X, and ended up with 18 wins on 22 draws.
UMBC – which had opened the season last week with a loss to No. 5 Johns Hopkins -- needed exactly a minute to get on the board Saturday, Pat Young taking a pass from Dylan McDermott and rifling a shot past Penn goalkeeper Jimmy Sestilio for a 1-0 lead.
Penn quickly took over after that. McGeary knotted the score on an unassisted goal just 1:17 after Young’s tally, and then Chris Hilburn and Kreinz pushed the Quakers ahead with goals before the game was five minutes old. Kreinz later added his second, to make it 4-1, before Nate Lewnes scored a pair of goals for UMBC to make the score 4-3 after one quarter.
Freshman Reilly Hupfeldt scored a man-up goal for Penn just 23 seconds into the second period, but that was matched midway through the quarter by Young, and the teams went to halftime with the Quakers leading, 5-4.
Penn opened up some room with the first two goals of the third quarter, both of them from McGeary as he beat his man and then the goalkeeper with his shots. UMBC got one back when Jack Gannon scored, but Doktor quickly restored the three-goal edge off an Isaac Bock assist.
Doktor later made it 9-5, opening up the fourth-quarter scoring off a Kevin Brown assist, before Lewnes scored his third of the game. Joe McCallion needed just 15 seconds to put Penn up 10-6. Lewnes and Drew Bordsody scored late goals for UMBC, but it was not enough on this day.
Sestilio got the start in goal and had six saves in the first half; he was replaced at halftime by John Lopes, who made one stop in his 30-minute shift. At the other end, Connor Gordon had nine saves for UMBC.
Penn will get right back into action on Tuesday, renewing its series with local rival Saint Joseph’s. The Quakers will invade Hawk Hill for a 4 p.m. faceoff.
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