PHILADELPHIA - To say that Penn's chances for a win Friday night against Dartmouth looked remote after three quarters would be an understatement.
To that point, the Quakers were down 7-3 andhad been outshot handily (especially in the first period). The offense had struggled, to put it kindly, having a hard time stringing throws and catches together. Dartmouth, meanwhile, was taking its time on offense and showed no signs of letting Penn back into it.
That all changed in the fourth quarter. More specifically, that all changed in the game's final six minutes.
It was during that period that the Quakers scored four unanswered goals -- they had also scored once with 9:38 left in the game -- and pulled off a stunning 8-7 victory at Franklin Field.
Penn (5-4, 2-2 Ivy League) snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory, while Dartmouth (4-4, 1-1 Ivy) lost for the first time in five outings.
Craig Andrzejewski wore the hero's crown on this night. The sophomore got the game-winning run started with the first of Penn's final five goals, and then he scoredthe Quakers'last two goals. The first came with 1:41 to playand tied the game, and the winner came with just 27 seconds left on the clock. After that, Justin Lynch won the faceoff for Penn -- as he did much of the night -- and by the time Dartmouth was able to force a turnover and get the ball back the clock was reaching triple zeroes.
Following Andrzejewski's first goal in the final run, David Cornbrooks scored off a J.J. Lian feed to make the score 7-5 with 5:54 to play, and then Garvey Heiderman finished a Casey O'Rourke feed to make it 7-6. Arguably the game-saving play for the Quakers happened between those goals, when freshman defender Joe Kelly came out of nowhere to check the ball away from Dartmouth's Brian Koch when Koch was all alone in front of the Penn goal with only goalkeeper Chris Casey to beat. Casey gathered up the harmless ground ball, the Quakers cleared successfully, and that led to Heiderman's goal.
The first quarter was all Dartmouth, as the Big Green outshot the Quakers 11-2 and scored the only goals of the period. Nick Bonacci scored midway through the stanza, and then Will Boardman finished an Ari Sussman feed in the final minute to give Dartmouth the 2-0 lead.
Sussman stretched the Green's lead to three goals in the third minute second quarter, before Penn finally got on the board when Alex Weber rolled a Cornbrooks feed past Dartmouth goalie Michael Novosel with 8:55 left in the half. Four minutes went by before the Quakers struck again, this time Cornbrooks rifling a shot off an Andrzejewski feed.
Dartmouth appeared to take control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Penn 4-1. Koch finished a Bonacci feed four minutes into the stanza, a goal that was matched a minute later by the Quakers' Ryan Bailey. However, Dartmouth's Jimmy Mullen scored an unassisted goal with 8:10 left, Koch tallied another unassisted goal three minutes later, and then Sussman finished a Doug Rendall feed in the final minute to make the score 7-3.
Pennfinished the night outshooting Dartmouth, 32-27, including 12-3 in the final quarter. For the Quakers, Casey finished with eight saves, but he kept the game from spiraling out of control early with a number of superb stops in the opening quarter (he had five overall in that period). At the other end, Novosell had 11 stops for the game.