MLax Falls By One Goal to No. 12 Dartmouth


Philadelphia - Penn lacrosse Head Coach Brian Voelker and his team have been on the wrong side of four one-goal games this season prior to the April 10 matchup with No. 12 Dartmouth. Despite James Riordan's goal with 3:09 left in the fourth to cut the margin to one, the Quakers'misfortune continued at Franklin Field with another one-goal loss, 8-7.

"At the end of the game, we called timeout and ran a couple of set plays," Voelker said as he described his team's strategy for the final three minutes, of which Penn controlled the ball pretty much the entire time. "Unfortunately, we threw it away. Our defense, especially Denis Cole, put us in a good position in the end, and we shot ourselves in the foot.

"Obviously these one-goal games are wearing on the team, but we have good guys who work hard and have a lot of pride and we'll continue to work on the fundamentals - handling the ball, good stick work, passing and catching - and one of these games will go our way."

The Quakers scored the only goal of the first quarter when Patrick Rogers went in alone at 9:15. Penn held Dartmouth, which is third in the Ancient Eight in goals this season (10.83 gpg), scoreless until the 12:01 mark of the second. Unfortunately, the Big Green retaliated with three goals within three minutes and the Quakers were staring down a 3-1 disadvantage. Alex Salihi scored his first goal of the season at 6:08 to bring Penn back within one (3-2), but Dartmouth scored back-to-back goals at 4:31 and 4:04 to give the Big Green a 5-2 lead at halftime.

The third period opened with the Ivy League leader in points, Ben Grinnell, scoring his only goal of the game at 13:47 to give the Big Green its largest lead of the afternoon, 6-2, before Garrett Blomquist connected with tri-captain Zandy Reich at 10:46 to get the Quakers moving again. The teams traded goals at 3:47 and 3:35 as Alan Eberstein won the faceoff and went straight down the field for the score to bring Penn within three, 7-4.

After a Dartmouth goal at 14:08 of the final quarter gave the Big Green an 8-4 lead, the game was all Penn's. The Quakers controlled most of the period, outshooting Dartmouth, 18-7, but could not connect on three extra man opportunities. Luke Dixson scored two of the Quakers' goals in that quarter, the first coming at 9:12 off a passfrom Mark Becker, and the second coming from tri-captain Brian Amen after a scramble in front of the net at 3:54. Rogers then found Riordan out in front for the team's seventh goal of the game at 3:08, to bring the contest within one, 8-7. Unfortunately, the Quakers would go no further as shots by Dixson and Reich did not find their intended target and the Quakers fell to 1-9 overall and 0-5 in the Ivy League this season.

Cole finished with 14 saves on the day, while Rogers and Dixson recorded two points each. Penn forced 19 Dartmouth turnovers and outshot the Big Green, 38-30.

Penn will end the 2005 Ivy League campaign at No. 16 Brown on April 16. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.