PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team faced another stern test Saturday afternoon; the 20th-ranked Quakers hosted No. 17 UMBC at Franklin Field.
Through five minutes of the second quarter, the Retrievers looked like they were going to bring Penn back to earth from a 3-0 start (off a 2-11 season last year). UMBC took advantage of numerous false starts on the face-off spot to control tempo, hold possession, and take a 6-1 lead.
Penn attempted to mount comebacks, but each time UMBC was able to answer and keep the Quakers at bay -- until the fourth quarter, that is. That is when Penn reeled off the final four goals of regulation and knotted the score for the first time all day.
The teams then went to overtime, and after a pair of UMBC shots went wide, Penn got the ball and made the most of its opportunity. James Riordan dodged a defender from the right side and fired a shot past Retrievers' goalie Jeremy Blevins to give the Quakers a scintillating, 12-11 win.
Penn (4-0) got a superb effort from Alan Eberstein, who shook off the early face-off mistakes and came back with several wins from the spot as the game wore on. The senior also scored two goals and dished off two assists. D.J. Andrzejewski had a pair of goals and an assist, while David Cornbrooks and Casey O'Rourke also scored twice.
UMBC (2-2) controlled the action early, outshooting Penn 11-5 in the first quarter and taking a 4-1 lead on goals from four different players. In the second quarter, James Hyland netted his second of the day, and then Brendan Mundorf scored to push the Retrievers' lead to 6-1. Patrick Rogers got one of those goals back for Penn on an unassisted effort, but Mundorf scored in the final minutes of the first half, and UMBC went to the locker room up, 7-2.
In the second half, Eberstein put Penn on the board after just 32 seconds, and then Andrzejewski scored unassisted less than two minutes later. However, Hyland equalized for UMBC, and then another Andrzejewski goal (from Alex Staffier) was matched by Terry Kimener's second of the day for the Retrievers.
Drew Collinsand Luke Dixson then scored just six seconds apart to make the score 9-7, but Evan Kay scored with 1:20 left in the third quarter, then hit for another goal just 16 seconds into the fourth to push UMBC's lead to 11-7.
It would be the last goal the Retrievers would score.
Casey O'Rourke quickly got Penn back in the scoring column, meanwhile, andwhen a penalty was called on UMBC after the goal Cornbrooks finished a feed from Eberstein in a man-up situation to close the Retrievers' lead to 11-9. O'Rourke then hit for another unassisted goal with 10:05 left in regulation, and the Quakers tied things up with 8:39 still to play when Eberstein finished an unassisted effort.
Both defenses got extremely stingy after that, as no scoring occured until Riordan's game-winner. Blevins finished with 10 saves for UMBC, while Gregory Klossner came up with six stops on the day. After the first-quarter surge, Penn came back and ended up outshooting UMBC 41-29 on the day.
Penn is back in action next Saturday, opening up Ivy League play at Yale. Face-off is set for 3 p.m.