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Penn holds off Villanova, 13-11, in nightcap of Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic

Friday, 8th March 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/8/19
From Press Release

After suffering a pair of tough, one-goal losses to current No. 7 Maryland (in overtime) and at No. 6 Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team left nothing to chance on Friday night against a Villanova team that entered the game ranked 11th in this week’s USILA national coaches poll.

Instead, the Quakers scored the first six goals at Villanova Stadium, held a 7-1 lead early in the second quarter, and never looked back in taking a 13-11 decision from the Wildcats.

The game was the second half of a doubleheader at the Stadium, as this was the first day of the inaugural Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic. In Friday’s first game, Drexel defeated Saint Joseph’s, 10-7. On Sunday at Drexel, the Dragons will host Villanova at noon followed by Penn and SJU at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Penn (1-3) was led by freshman Sam Handley, who was simply monstrous with four goals—three of them unassisted—and three assists. Adam Goldner (Malvern Prep), Simon Mathias and Tyler Dunn each scored twice, while Sean Lulley had a goal and an assist to help the cause.

Penn senior defenseman Noah Lejman (Haverford School) was a standout, collecting two groundballs and two caused turnovers. Lejman had missed his entire sophomore and junior seasons due to injuries after starting part-time as a freshman.

Dan Fisher (St. Joseph’s Prep) won 8 of 19 faceoffs for the Wildcats.

Mathias got Penn started just 34 seconds into the game, finishing a Handley feed to extend his point-scoring streak to 47 games and his goal-scoring streak to 24. Handley notched the first of his three unassisted tallies after that, and just 13 seconds later Goldner made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal. Handley and Goldner (from Handley) made it 5-0 with goals just 34 seconds apart midway through the period, and then freshman long pole BJ Farrare made it 6-0 when he camped near Villanova’s left post and Goldner found him in transition.

Connor Kirst got Villanova (3-2) on the board with 4:22 left in the first, but Dunn made it 7-1 early in the second. That would be all the scoring for the Red and Blue for the half, however, and instead the Wildcats made it interesting with four goals to make it 7-5 by halftime. When Corey McManus opened the third-quarter scoring, it was 7-6.

Penn responded. Sean Lulley finished a Handley feed with 9:20 left in the period—snapping a scoreless streak of more than 19 minutes—and then the two reversed roles before Handley scored another unassisted goal. That put the Quakers back up by four goals, at 10-6. Villanova scored just before the end of the period.

Penn put it away in the fourth. Mitch Bartolo scored an unassisted goal just 59 second in, and then nearly 10 minutes went by before Dunn beat his man on a clear and dove across the crease to score. Mathias then took advantage of a 1-on-1 with a short pole, and Penn’s lead was 13-7 with less than four minutes left.

Villanova fought to the end, scoring four goals in a span of 2:26 to make it 13-11 with 1:04 still to play, but Penn was able to hold off their hosts for the first win this season. Reed Junkin went the distance in goal and made 11 saves, while Villanova’s keeper had 12 stops as the Quakers outshot the Cats 55-40 on the night. Kyle Gallagher had another strong night on the X, winning 17 of 27 faceoffs.

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