Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/15/17
From Press Release
The University of Pennsylvania (5-5, 2-3) registered an all-important victory to remain in contention for an Ivy League Tournament berth following a 14-10 win at Harvard (5-6, 1-3) on Saturday in Cambridge, Mass.
The Red and Blue were dominant from the face-off X in what proved to be the difference maker in today’s win. Junior Chris Santangelo tallied a career-high 22 draws on the day, topping his previous best of 19 also set against Harvard just a season ago. LSM Connor Keating (Haverford School) also had a goal and an assist and a career-high with 11 ground balls, winning several from the face-off wing. Kevin McGeary (Malvern Prep) added three goals and four groundballs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
*Chris Santangelo was outstanding in the contest and won 22-of-28 face-offs for the afternoon.
*Simon Mathias led the Quakers with six points (2g, 4a) while 11 players registered points for Penn.
*Penn won the groundball game over Harvard, 40-19.
*The Quakers were also dominant with a 27-14 advantage in shots on goal.
*Morgan Cheek led the way for Harvard with 5 goals and one assist for six points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A high-scoring first quarter saw a total of seven goals between the two sides, and the Quakers had to come back from an early 3-0 setback. Nigel Andrews, Morgan Cheek, and Watson Cheek rattled off a trio of goals for Harvard in the first 9:24 of the stanza, but the Quakers were quick to retaliate. Keating and JJ McBride opened the scoring for Penn in less than a minute of one another as Penn closed the gap, 3-2, with 48 seconds in the quarter. The Crimson closed the frame with two scores in the final 15 seconds from Cheek and Ryan Graff as the hosts pulled ahead 5-2 after 15 minutes of action.
The Quakers came out firing in the second, and turned a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 lead with a five-goal run to sustain the stanza. McGeary, Chris Santangelo, Tyler Dunn, and two tallies from Simon Mathias pulled the Red and Blue ahead by the 5:30 mark as the Quaker defense held Harvard scoreless for nearly 13 minutes to bridge the first and second quarters. The Crimson stopped the drought with 2:50 left to play in the half as Penn went into intermission with a slight 7-6 lead.
The defenses on each team found their footing to start the third quarter, and both sides struggled seeing good looks in a back and forth affair in the frame. With the score knotted at 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9 in the stanza, neither team pulled away. Harvard’s Morgan Cheek tied the game at 7-all at the 7:14 mark, but Joe Liccardi was quick to respond as Penn regained the lead at 8-7 just over a minute later. Cheek struck once again to tie it at 8-8, while Joe Lang and Penn’s Adam Goldner (Malvern Prep) traded blows to make it 9-9 as the teams entered the final quarter all-square.
Going down to the wire in the final 15 minutes, it was Penn that pulled away after breaking a 10-10 draw. Harvard’s Morgan Cheek and Penn’s Reilly Hupfeldt (Haverford School) scored at the 10:12 and 9:12 ticks, but Penn took a 11-10 advantage and increased that output to 12-10 following two back-to-back scores from McGeary. Goldner and Dunn gave Penn a comfortable 14-10 lead as Penn scored the last five goals of the contest for the win.