March 19, 2011

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Penn Beats Princeton for First Time Since 1989

from press release

PHILADELPHIA -- Before Saturday, the last time Penn defeated Princeton in men's lacrosse was 1989. That drought has gone by the boards after the Quakers rolled to an 8-3 victory over the Tigers Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field.

In a game that was methodical throughout, No. 18 Penn never trailed against the 11th-ranked Tigers. The teams were tied at 1-1 after one quarter, it was only 2-1 at the half, and they entered the final period with the Quakers lead at just 5-3. A final-quarter shutout by Penn officially ended the losing streak at 21 games.

While the drought had taken on a life of its own, Penn did not enter Saturday's contest cowed by Princeton. The Tigers had needed overtime to defeat the Quakers each of the last two years, and both teams lost to Villanova by a goal in the last week. So the teams figured to enter Saturday's contest pretty evenly matched.

That was the case through the first half. Penn got on the board six minutes in when Rob Fitzpatrick netted an unassisted goal. Princeton's Mike Grossman matched that with his own unassisted effort with 1:24 left in the quarter, which ended at 1-1.

The teams nearly went the entire second quarter scoreless, but Morgan Griff gave Penn a lead it would not relinquish with just 54 seconds left before the break as he finished a feed from Al Kohart.

Dan Savage doubled Penn's lead in the fourth minute of the third quarter, finishing a feed from John Conneely, and then four minutes after that Kohart converted a feed from Griff to put the Quakers up 4-1.

A critical juncture occured midway through the third. Princeton finally got its second goal with 6:20 left when Tucker Shanley scored an unassisted goal, but Penn's Nick Richards won the ensuing faceoff and immediately went down to score. That goal was huge when the Tigers scored again with 4:29 left, Forest Sonnenfeldt doing the honors. The score was 5-3 entering the final quarter.

Kohart netted his second of the day with 9:01 remaining, finishing a Corey Winkoff feed, and less than 30 seconds after that freshman long-stick Maxx Meyer scored his first collegiate goal to make the score 7-3. That seemed to take the wind out of Princeton's sails, and Winkoff finished the scoring off with just 54 seconds left.

Once again on Saturday, Penn's defense was stellar, as the Quakers caused 12 turnovers and held Princeton to its lowest goal total in a game since 2008, its lowest in an Ivy contest since 2006, and its lowest in this series since 1987. Penn outshot Princeton on the day, 36-21, forcing Tyler Fiorito to make 14 saves while Brian Feeney had seven in the Quaker cage.

Penn returns to action next Saturday, playing at No. 12 Cornell at 1 p.m.


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