PHILADELPHIA -On a perfect afternoon in front of a raucous Alumni Day crowd at Franklin Field, the University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team defeated Harvard, 14-13.
It was a scintillating, back-and-forth game that ended in Penn’s favor when Reilly Hupfeldt capped off a four-goal day with just 15 seconds left. Harvard won the ensuing faceoff, but the Quakers forced a Crimson turnover and time ran out.
Penn is now 6-5 overall this season, and improved to 3-2 in the Ivy League. The Quakers also clinched a spot in the Ivy League Tournament with the win. Harvard fell to 6-6, 2-2.
In addition to Hup’s performance, Penn got four points from freshman Simon Mathias (2g, 2a) and three from senior Nick Doktor (1g, 2a). Freshman Tyler Dunn also scored twice, while at the other end freshman Reed Junkin came up with 12 saves.
Harvard opened the game with the first two goals, but Penn roared back with the next four from James Farrell, Kevin McGeary, Hupfeldt and Mathias. Harvard got one of those back before the end of the quarter, and it was 4-3 Penn after one.
Doktor opened his account in the second quarter, then Harvard’s Devin Dwyer and Dunn traded goals in the final five minutes of the half to send the teams to the locker rooms with the Quakers up, 6-4.
Harvard owned the third quarter, scoring the first five goals over a span of 6:11. That put the Crimson up, 9-6. Penn re-grouped, though, and Mathias and Dunn scored in the final 1:23 of the period to make it a more manageable 9-8 game heading into the final quarter.
The momentum the Quakers gained at the end of the third continued into the fourth. Penn started the period in a man-up situation and converted, Hupfeldt finishing a Doktor feed in front. Less than four minutes later, another Harvard penalty led to another Penn goal, this time Alex Roesner cutting through the middle, taking a Mathias feed, turning a beating Shaw. Just 44 seconds later, Hupfeldt made it 11-9, and 93 seconds after that it was 12-9 when Pat Berkery finished a Dunn feed.
Harvard stormed back. Joe Lang scored just 25 seconds after Berkery’s goal, and then Sean Mahon and Ian Ardrey scored just 45 seconds apart to tie the game, 12-12, with a little less than five minutes to play.
Penn won the ensuing faceoff, and sophomore long-stick middie Connor Keating brought the house down with a bouncing shot that found the goal to put the Quakers up, 13-12. That lead held for nearly four minutes; however, with just over a minute remaining Harvard forced a Penn turnover in the Quakers’ offensive end, quickly got it downfield, and Dwyer finished a Lang feed to tie it up.
Penn again won the faceoff, however, and Hupfeldt cemented it when he cut in front of the goal, took a pass from Mathias on the right side, turned a fired a shot over Shaw’s left shoulder.
Penn outshot Harvard, 46-32, and forced Harvard goalkeeper Robert Shaw to make 12 saves. Penn also was outstanding on the face-off X for the third-straight game, winning 20 of the 30 draws as Chris Santangelo was 19-of-27 on the X.
Penn is on the road for its next two games, starting Tuesday when the Quakers are at UMBC for a 7 p.m. faceoff. They will then close out the Ivy League portion of their season next Saturday at Dartmouth, facing off with the Big Green at 1 p.m.
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