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Independence Classic: Penn topples Villanova, 13-9 (with photos)

Sunday, 10th March 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/9/13, Re-Posted 3/10/13
From Press Release
And Contributing Writer David A. Willauer

The Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team used a dominant performance in the second half to defeat Villanova, 13-9, Saturday afternoon at PPL Park as part of the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic presented by Inside Lacrosse.

Penn's Chris Hupfeldt (Haverford School) is defended during Saturday's win over Villanova (Photo by Charlie Bagent)

Penn’s Chris Hupfeldt (Haverford School) is defended during Saturday’s win over Villanova (Photo by Charlie Bagent)

Penn improved to 4-1 on the young season, while Villanova fell to 1-4.

Zack Losco, Drew Belinsky and Isaac Bock all had hat tricks in Saturday’s win, while Tim Schwalje scored a goal and assisted three others to lead Penn.

The goals came quickly throughout the first half, which ended tied at 7-7, but Penn outscored Villanova 6-2 in the second half to pull away for the victory.

“It was a big win for us,” said Penn coach Mike Murphy. “Our Villanova games are always nail biters – the last three years have been one-goal games.

Penn's Joe McCallion (Haverford Schol) is defended by 'Nova's Chris Piccirrilli (Photo by Charlie Bagent)

Penn’s Joe McCallion (Haverford Schol) is defended by ‘Nova’s Chris Piccirrilli (Photo by Charlie Bagent)

“To come and play this game in a venue like this was a big day for the sport in the area. It was really exciting. I came here last year to see the quarterfinals and this is a big-time venue.

“Everything is first class and it was a great experience for our players. Hopefully it will prepare us for the post-season.”

Max Hart scored the game’s opening goal on Villanova’s first possession, but Losco beat his man and fired a shot from range to tie the game for Penn. The Quakers then won the ensuing faceoff, got the ball to Schwalje in a fast break situation and he fed Nick Doktor in front to put the Quakers up, 2-1.

Villanova tied the game at 2-2 when Chris Piccirilli, a long-stick middie, scored on a counterattack, then went up 3-2 when Jack Rice scored a few minutes later off a nice feed from Nick Doherty. Shortly after that, Hart reprised his opening goal, and it was 4-2 Wildcats.

Feeney quickly got one of the goals back, winning the faceoff and firing home a shot in transition. However, Hart again scored after beating his defender on the right side to put Villanova up, 5-3. That is how the first quarter ended.

Penn needed 45 seconds in the second quarter to draw level. Belinsky beat a pair of defenders to the left side and fired a shot past Villanova goalkeeper Greg Stamatov, and mere seconds after that Losco essentally carbon-copied his classmate and linemate in the midfield. However, Villanova got a man-up situation and took advantage quickly, Tim Mulrenan feeding Rice in front to make it 6-5. Hart then netted his fourth of the game bursting from the right side behind the goal and back out on the left side where he turned and beat Feeney over the left shoulder.

Penn again got within a goal when Schwalje found Doktor and fed him left side to right side for the score. Losco then made the score 7-7, starting behind the goal and racing out on the right side where he fired a left-handed shot past Stamatov. Chris Hupfeldt (Haverford School) looked like he might give Penn the lead, but his shot hit the crossbar.

Villanova scored the first goal of the second half, Rice completing his hat trick in another man-up situation, but Bock knotted the game at 8-8 with a swim dodge that led to a right-handed shot from distance. Bock then gave Penn its first lead since 1-0 with a man-up goal from a low angle on the left side.

Penn doubled its lead when Chris Moriarty found Doktor in transition and the freshman netted his second of the day. However, Villanova cut the deficit back in half with a man-up goal from up top by Eric Gartner (Great Valley).

Bock made it 11-9 early in the fourth quarter, beating his man on the left side and firing a left-handed shot past Bill Hurley. Drew Belinsky then beat Hurley with a lefty shot, and Schwalje salted it away with an empty-net goal in the final minutes.

Danny Feeney won 16 of 22 face-offs and scored once for Penn.

“Once we settled in on defense in the first half we did fine,” said Murphy. “We started to get our rhythm on our slides and then we got some scores on transition.”

Click here for photo page by Charlie Bagent

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