PRINCETON – Penn needed three points from its match at Princeton to stay alive for the Ivy League championship, but came up just short in a 3-2 loss at Roberts Stadium.
All five goals came in the first half – both of Penn’s via Alec Neumann – but a pair of two-goal deficits was too much for the Red and Blue (6-8-2, 2-2-2 Ivy) to overcome.
Penn had the early run of play, with a dangerous Austin Kuhn chance denied by a diving Ben Hummel save in the third minute. Moments later, Duke Lacroix had a step down the left flank, but an extra touch allowed a Princeton defender to close and knock the ball away.
The Tigers (10-3-3, 4-1-1 Ivy) would transition down the field, Brendan McSherry slipping a pass to Cameron Porter on the run. The Ivy League’s leading goal scorer would score his 14th of the season, sending the ball just inside the far post.
Princeton would double its lead in the 16th minute, McSherry slipping a shot between Polkinhorne’s legs and just over the line from a Porter pass. McSherry picked up a chip pass from Porter inside the six-yard area and Polkinhorne got a piece but couldn’t hold the ball from crossing the stripe.
The Quakers would get one back in the 31st minute, with its leading scorers combining for the goal. Duke Lacroix picked up the ball just beyond midfield and burst down the right side, beating three defenders and sending a wide-angle shot to goal. Hummel stopped the Lacroix shot, but couldn’t completely corral it. Alec Neumann crashed the net and put the loose ball in the back of the net for his seventh career goal.
Princeton briefly took a 3-1 lead with a Nico Hurtado goal in the 42nd minute from a Thomas Sanner pass. However, Penn would answer in extremely quick fashion with Neumann’s second of the game just 18 seconds later. Kamar Saint-Louis sent a long ball off the kickoff to the Princeton 18, Neumann knocked it down and passed to Louis Schott who sent it back to Neumann all alone on the keeper. Neumann’s shot was saved, but the rebound bounced off Neumann and in to send the game to halftime, 3-2.
In the second half, Penn withstood an early Princeton assault as the Tigers outshot the Quakers, 9-2, in the first half of the second frame. Polkinhorne made two saves in that stretch, including one from his stomach after punching away a corner kick in the 68th minute.
The Quakers would have a final chance in the game’s final minute after Louis Schott earned a corner. Clancy’s service was cleared by Hummel, though. Jason deFaria picked up the ball off the clearance at midfield and sent a ball back to the mixer, but a foul was called on the Red and Blue as Hummel was knocked down trying to punch away the ball. The ensuing free kick would be boomed away and run out the clock.
Polkinhorne finished with seven saves, including five in the second half.
The Quakers close out the 2014 regular season with Senior Day on November 15 against Harvard at 7 p.m.