PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania and Saint Joseph's engaged in a thrilling game Tuesday night at Rhodes Field on Penn's campus, with the Hawks pulling out a 9-8 overtime victory after Penn had made up a four-goal deficit.
The game was eerily similar to last year's game on Hawk Hill, when Penn overcame a 9-4 deficit at the end of three quarters to win 11-10 in overtime. This time, the Quakers were down 8-4 early in the third quarter, but got one of the goals back before the period ended and then scored all three goals in the fourth.
Penn (8-6) looked like it might repeat last year's heroics, forcing an SJU turnover after the Hawks won the faceoff to start the extra session. However, Kevin McGeary's two shots both went wide, and Saint Joseph's (10-3) was deemed to be closer to the ball when it went out after the second one. That gave the ball to the Hawks, and they brought it down the field and deliberately worked it around until Mike Rastivo positioned himself behind the goal and fed Kevin Forster in front. Forster faked a high shot, went low, and that touched off the celebration.
Simon Mathias and Reilly Hupfeldt had two goals and one assist each for Penn on Tuesday, while Nick Doktor scored once and added three assists. The senior figured in the final two goals, scoring off a Hupfeldt feed with 8:15 left to make it 8-7 and then feeding Mathias for the tying goal with 2:50 to play.
Penn opened the scoring on Tuesday night, and then after SJU scored twice to take a 2-1 lead the Quakers responded with two of their own to make it 3-2 after one period. The second quarter was all Hawks, who held much of the possession and outscored the Penn 5-1 in the period to go up 7-4 at halftime. Rastivo then scored just 1:07 into the third, making it 8-4 and setting the stage for Penn's comeback.
Penn is now off until the Ivy League Tournament, which will take place next Friday and Sunday in Providence, R.I. The Quakers will know their seed and opponent by Saturday night, but the field is set with host Brown, Yale, Harvard and the Quakers. Penn can finish anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed, depending on the result of Saturday's Yale-Harvard game in New Haven, Conn. If Yale wins, Penn is locked into the third seed and faces the Bulldogs. If Harvard wins, then Penn, Yale and the Crimson all finish 4-2 and will be 0-1 against the top seed and 1-1 against each other. By Ivy League rule, they will go to a random draw, which will be conducted at the Ivy League office Saturday night.
Download: Penn14 (SJU).pdf