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Penn starts strong, topples Army, 13-8, to advance to NCAA quarterfinals

Saturday, 11th May 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/11/19
From Press Release

The No. 4 seeded University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team started strong and held on to defeat Army West Point, 13-8, today and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

The win is the first in the NCAA Championship for Quakers head coach Mike Murphy. In the process he became the program’s all-time winningest coach with 75 victories, bypassing Tony Seaman who had 74 from 1983-90 and was the last coach to lead Penn to a NCAA tournament win in 1988.

The Quakers (12-3) will face Yale – a 19-16 winner over Georgetown – in the quarterfinals next Sunday at a site and time TBA. Penn has defeated the defending national champs twice this year.

The Quakers never trailed in the game, led by a 5-0 first quarter and a strong effort from a senior class making its first career national tournament appearance. Simon Mathias led all players with five points, while classmates Alex Roesner (3g, 2gb), Adam Goldner (3g, Malvern Prep) and Tyler Dunn (1g, 3gb) also factored in on the offense. Noah Lejman (Haverford School) helped anchor the defense (1 caused turnover).

Junior Kyle Gallagher was a force on faceoffs, winning 22-of-25 and picking up 21 ground balls.

Notes To Know…
Penn has now won 12 games in a row, tying the 1984 team for the longest winning streak in program history. Penn remains tied with Penn State for the longest current winning streak in the nation.
Penn did not trail in the game. Over its last seven games dating back to a win at Brown in the regular season, Penn has trailed for a total of 7:58 and only in the first quarter by one goal.
The Quakers had been 0-6 in NCAA Tournament play dating back to the 1988 quarterfinals.
Penn scored 13 goals against an Army defense which entered the game allowing 8.35 a game and ranked No. 2 in the country in Scoring Defense.
Simon Mathias extended his point-scoring streak to 58 games – each one of his career. He has 192 points during that span.
Mathias has at least one goal in 35 consecutive games – the longest active streak in the country. He has 74 goals during that streak.
Adam Goldner now has scored in 24 consecutive games – the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. He has 74 goals during his streak.
Kyle Gallagher’s 21 ground balls are a program record and No. 9 all-time in a game in NCAA history.
Senior Alex Roesner entered the game with seven goals this season. He scored a career-high three today on three shots.
Penn is now 10-0 this season when leading at halftime and 11-0 when leading after three quarters.

How It Happened…

Both teams showed some expected nerves in the first few possessions, with each team turning the ball over early. Finally, Alex Roesner was able to dodge by a defender 1v1 just over 3:00 into the game to give Penn the first goal of the game.

Two minutes later, Tyler Dunn gave Penn a 2-0 lead with a laser from the right wing off a Sam Handley feed. Just 0:25 later, Mitch Bartolo fired home an unassisted goal and Penn was off to a quick 3-0 lead.

Great work at both ends of the field led to Penn’s fourth goal as the Quakers dialed up a big save from Reed Junkin late in the shot clock and then worked seamless transition down the field which led to a pass from Matt McIlwrick to Adam Goldner and a 4-0 lead.

Sam Handley would score with 0:09 left in the first quarter to end the first period on a strong note. Simon Mathias took a tour of the attacking zone, drawing plenty of Army defenders before finding Handley across the field who drove by a defender and scored.

In the second quarter, Army came out with two quick goals in the first 3:37 to cut the Red and Blue’s lead to 5-2. Matt Manown scored first right at the crease 1:53 into the second and Sean O’Brien followed at the 3:37 mark to net Army’s second of the game.

Penn would counter with Goldner’s second of the game with 8:51 remaining in the second quarter. With Penn late in a shot clock, Joe Licciardi drove then dished to a wide open Goldner who beat the keeper for a 6-2 Penn lead. Simon Mathias would add a third consecutive goal for the Quakers, extending his goal-scoring streak to a nation-best 34 games.

The Black Knights would find the final three goals of the first half, scoring three times in the final 3:36 to send the game to the break with Penn ahead, 7-5. Nate Jones had the final two goals of the first half for Army, scoring his second with just 0:11 left in the second quarter.

Penn was stingy on defense to start the third quarter, holding Army off the scoreboard for 11:05 while building its lead to 9-5. Simon Mathias put together a dandy of a swim move past Army’s Johnny Surdick for the first goal of the third period 3:59 in. Neither team would score for the next six minutes until Goldner struck for his third of the game off a Mathias assist for a 9-5 Penn lead with 5:09 left in the third.

O’Brien finally ended Army’s scoreless streak with his second of the game with 3:55 left in the third quarter. The Quakers would answer in transition, BJ Farrare finding Mathias alone for his third of the game after Junkin stepped into a save off a shot from Army’s long pole in Tim Rigney.

Army had chances to open the fourth quarter, but Reed Junkin stood tall until Miles Silva scored 5:44 in off a rebound from a Junkin stop.

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