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No. 17 @PennMensLax hosts No. 6 UVA in game that reunites many @MesaLacrosse grads

Friday, 24th February 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/24/17
From Press Release and Staff Report

The 17th-ranked University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team (1-0) returns to the friendly confines of Franklin Field on Saturday for its 2017 home opener when they welcome No. 6 Virginia (3-0) to Philadelphia.

Penn’s Connor Keating (left) and former Haverford School teammate Dox Aitken, also grads of Mesa Lacrosse, will square off when Penn hosts Virginia in a key matchup Saturday at Franklin Field

Game time is slated for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3.

The Red and Blue are coming off a solid 10-5 victory over Saint Joseph’s from last weekend in what was their 13th win in the series history and third-straight season opener. UVA has three games under their belts, all wins, and have outscored their opponents by a 54-42 margin so far this season.

The game also features 14 players that played for Mesa Lacrosse’s club (Mesa Fresh) or college teams (Mesa U). Those players include:

UVA: freshman sensation Dox Aitken (Haverford School, 7G, 2A), Will McNamara (Haverford School), Ryan Conrad (Mesa U) and Jack Reilly (Mesa U).

Penn: Noah Lejman (Haverford School), Connor Keating (Haverford School), Kevin McGeary (Malvern Prep), Mike Mulqueen (Malvern Prep), Kevin Gayhardt, Chris Hilburn (Malvern Prep), Alex de Marco (Haverford School), Tyler Early (Penn Charter), Reilly Hupfeldt (Mesa U) and Alex Roesner (Mesa U).

GAME 2 – #17 PENN (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) vs. #6 VIRGINIA (3-0, 0-0 ACC)
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 * 1:00 p.m. | at Penn, 9th meeting (Virginia leads, 6-2)
Saturday’s contest marks the ninth matchup in the series history between the Quakers and Cavaliers with Virginia winning the last six meetings dating back to 1997. Despite being familiar foes over the last few seasons, the Cavaliers have never been to Franklin Field: the series history includes six away matches in Charlottesville and two neutral site meetings at Sports Authority Field and PPL Park, respectively. The two sides first met during the 1929 season when Penn claimed a 10-1 win at Virginia.

• Penn opened the 2017 season last weekend with a 10-5 win over Saint Joseph’s. Alex Roesner led the Red and Blue with three goals while sophomore goalkeeper Reed Junkin provided 15 saves to aid Penn in the victory. Reilly Hupfeldt and Tyler Dunn each scored twice as the trio provided seven of Penn’s 10 goals on the afternoon.

• The Quakers enter Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 17 in the USILA Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the Maverik/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Brown and Yale also join the Quakers as part of the national polls following the first full weekend of Ivy League action.

• Penn will play against seven teams ranked or receiving votes in the current USILA Coaches Poll in 2017: Virginia, Yale, Brown, Penn State, Navy, Princeton and Harvard.

• A trio of seniors have been tapped to lead the Red and Blue as captains in 2017: Tyler Earley, Austin Kreinz and Kevin Gayhardt (Episcopal Academy).

• The Quakers return four of five All-Ivy honorees from just a year ago: Connor Keating, Kevin Gayhardt, Reed Junkin and Simon Mathias look to lead the Red and Blue this season.

• Connor Keating (Haverford School), a USILA Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-Ivy long-stick midfielder, returns for his junior season after being named a 2017 Inside Lacrosse Preseason Honorable Mention All-American. In 2016, Keating was the nation’s leading long-pole scorer with 13 goals and four assists and was second on the team with 51 ground balls and tied for first with 11 caused turnovers.

• Simon Mathias, co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2016 and an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection, looks to lead the offensive unit following a season where he tallied 28 goals and 11 assists.

• Reed Junkin, also the co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-Ivy honoree, returns to defend the pipes in net. Junkin boasted a 53.5% save percentage off of 539 shots and tallied 170 saves in 2016.

• Gayhardt, a Second Team All-Ivy appointment, returns for his senior season to anchor the Quaker defense. In 2016, he led the team in caused turnovers (11) and picked up 23 ground balls.

• Four sophomores: Alex Roesner, Simon Mathias, Tyler Dunn, and Noah Lejman (Haverford School), along with Penn Associate Head Coach Pat Myers, all represented Penn and the gold medal-winning USA team at the FIL U19 World Championship held in British Columbia last summer.


• Virginia has three games under their belts so far this season and have posted wins over Loyola, Drexel and Siena prior to Saturday’s matchup. Senior Zed Williams leads the Cavaliers with seven goals and 10 assists for 10 points, while Mike D’Amario (10g, 3a) and Michael Kraus (6g, 6a) have also provided double-digit point efforts.

• Junior Will Railey has been the primary netminder through three games, and posts a 13.63 GAA and a .459 save percentage. Griffin Thompson, Ryan Montgomery and William Hudson have also seen limited action between the pipes.

• The Quakers will see a familiar face manning the UVA sidelines this weekend with former Brown head coach Lars Tiffany now at the helm of the Cavaliers. Tiffany spent the last 10 seasons with the Bears before heading south to Virginia and Mike Murphy owned a 3-4 record against Tiffany while the duo were foes in the Ivy League.

• The Cavaliers return six starters and 31 letterwinners from their 2016 contingent and are led by a trio of captains in Ryan Lukacovic, Will McNamara and Tanner Scales. Virginia lost four starters and 13 letterwinners from just a season ago.

• Virginia was 7-8 overall and 0-4 in the ACC in 2016.

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