CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the third game in a row, the Penn men's lacrosse team went to overtime. Unfortunately for the Quakers, Harvard's Carle Stenmark scored just 1:05 into the extra session to provide the Crimson with the 7-6 victory Saturday at Jordan Field.
The win was Harvard's first of the season, while Penn (4-3) fell to 1-1 in Ivy play.
Stenmark's goal capped a comeback by the Crimson, who were down 6-4 heading into the final quarter. However, Nick Smith scored an unassisted goal with 9:41 to play, and then Jason Duboe tied things up with 6:30 left to set the stage for Stenmark's overtime heroics.
Both sides had excellent chances to end it in regulation, but Chris Casey came up big on Greg Cohen's bid from 10 yards out with 35 seconds left to give Penn the last possession of the fourth quarter. The Quakers called timeout with 22 seconds left, and, on the restart, worked the ball to J.J. Lian, who was denied by Harvard goalie Joe Pike. The rebound kicked out to Penn's Garvey Heiderman in the closing seconds, but Heiderman's shot from five yards was blocked the the Crimson defense at the buzzer.
Harvard controlled the overtime period from the outset, as the Crimson took possession off a Penn violation. Casey came up with three big saves in the extra period as he stopped Cohen's outside shot before making a terrific save on Eric Posner's breakaway after Posner had intercepted a clearing pass. Stenmark threatened to end it with 2:20 left when he bounced a shot from 15 yards out that was sent wide by Casey, but Harvard's Max Motschwiller came up with the ground ball, keeping possession in the offensive zone.
The game-winner came when Stenmark broke free from the top of the box and fired a shot that beat Casey high from 10 yards.
Harvard's win overshadowed a 6-1 Penn run that overcame the Crimson's three-goal start.
After allowing three goals to Harvard in the first 4:18 of the contest, Penn slowly chipped away and eventually took the lead. Alex Salihi was the first to dent the Crimson goal, scoring off a Craig Andrzejewski feed with 4:19 to play in the first quarter.
Penn knotted things up by halftime, scoring three of the four goals in the second quarter. Alex Weber made the score 3-2 with 5:55 left with an unassisted goal, and then just more than two minutes later Andrzejewski finished a Casey O'Rourke feed to tie the game at 3-3. Harvard needed just seven seconds to go back up, when Greg Cohen scored right off the faceoff, but Heiderman again tied things up with just 37 seconds left before the break.
Penn scored the only goals in the third quarter, as Lian scored a man-up goal off an Andrzejewski feed with 6:55 to play and then Andrzejewski scored his second of the day with 3:56 left.
Casey had a solid performance in the Penn goal, making 12 saves as Harvard outshot the Quakers, 36-26. At the other end, the Crimson's Joe Pike had seven stops.
Penn will be back in action next Saturday, traveling to Ithaca to take on Cornell in another Ivy League contest. Faceoff at Schoellkopf Field is slated for 3 p.m.