PHILADELPHIA - Last Saturday, the University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team entered its game at Franklin Field with Harvard boasting a 6-0 record and a 1-0 Ivy League mark -- and promptly fell to the Crimson.
One week later, the Quakers welcomed Cornell to Franklin Field -- a Cornell team ranked second in the nation and boasting a 6-0 overall record including, you guessed it, a 1-0 Ivy League mark.
If you are a Penn lacrosse fan, what a difference a week makes. And as a result, for the second week in a row a team walked off the Franklin Field turf with a record of 6-1, 1-1.
On April Fool's Day, the Quaker pulled the trick on the Big Red, utilizing a stifling defense that kept Cornell's high-powered in check. Penn is now 7-1, 2-1 in the Ivy League.
James Riordan led Penn with four goals, while D.J. Andrzejewski had two goals and dished off two assists. P.J. Gilbert also scored twice for the Quakers. At the other end, Penn held Cornell nearly seven goals below its season average, as Gregory Klossner had 11 saves in the cage to offset the Big Red's 35-30 shot advantage.
"This is a big win for us, no matter how you look at it," said fourth-year Penn head coach Brian Voelker. "We came out to play hard all day today, I am very happy with our effort. This is great for the program, great for our standing in the Ivy League -- it was a big game.
"Cornell is a very talented team, but I felt like we could win if we played a great game," he continued. "Obviously we did that at both ends of the field, and the result is a win. Our defense has been solid all season, which I knew would be the case, and they really stepped it up today."
Cornell scored the only two goals of the first quarter, but Penn responded with goals by Andrzejewski and Gilbert just 36 seconds apart that tied things up midway through the second quarter. Cornell responded with goals by Eric Pittard and Casey Lewis over a span of 1:03, but Riordan hit his first goal of the day with 3:59 left in the half, and the teams went to the break with Cornell leading, 4-3.
The Big Red's Max Seibald scored early in the third quarter, but Riordan answered less than a minute later, and then nearly 10 minutes went by before Andrzejewski tied things up. The teams went into the final quarter tied, 5-5.
Penn grabbed its first lead with 12:22 to play when Riordan finished an Andrzejewski feed, and just less than three minutes later he tallied an unassisted goal that pushed the Quakers' lead to 7-5. Gilbert then finished a feed from Alan Eberstein with 6:35 to play.
Cornell still had some fight left, however, and got one back with 2:55 to play when David Mitchell finished a Derek Haswell feed after a flurry of shots. However, while the Big Red would spend most of the remainder of the game on offense, they could not get another goal as the Penn defense held fast and Klossner backstopped them.
Penn's next game takes place next Saturday, at Dartmouth. Face-off is slated for 1 p.m. in Hanover, N.H.