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NCAA men’s D1: Penn stages dramatic comeback, tops upset-minded Richmond, 11-10, in OT

Saturday, 14th May 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/14/22
From Press Release

The third-seeded University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team narrowly escaped its first-round NCAA Championship game with Richmond on Saturday afternoon in Penn Park, scoring in the final minute of regulation and then winning 11-10 in overtime over the Spiders.

The Quakers were down a goal in the final minute and the Spiders had the ball after UR goalie Zach Vigue saved Gabe Furey’s (Episcopal Academy) effort, but Penn’s Ben Bedard forced a turnover near midfield and the Quakers turned it into the tying goal when Sam Handley found Ben Smith on the doorstep with 29 seconds left.

Jamie Zusi then won the overtime faceoff and, after a timeout, Penn executed a brilliant play that ended with Smith open in front and Furey hitting him with the pass. The goal—Smith’s fifth of the day, a season/career high—ended the contest at 11-10.

Penn improves to 11-4 and moves on to a quarterfinal matchup with either sixth-seeded Rutgers or Harvard next Saturday at Hofstra’s James M. Shuart Stadium. Richmond’s season ends at 11-5.

Quaker Notemeal
*Penn advances to the quarterfinal round for the second time in as many opportunities; the Quakers got there in 2019, as well, then did not play in the 2021 NCAA Championship due to Ivy League protocols.

*Penn improved to 3-2 this season in overtime games and is now 1-1 in OT in NCAA Championship play; the Quakers lost to Yale in overtime in a 2019 quarterfinal.

*Freshman Ben Smith set season/career highs with five goals and six points on Saturday, and he had the game-tying and game-winning goals.

*Senior Sam Handley netted three goals and added an assist on Saturday, giving him his third four-point game this season.

*Handley—who has recorded at least three points in all but one game this season—now has 70 points this season which is second on Penn’s single-season list behind only Peter Hollis (75 in 1977).

*Senior Dylan Gergar scored twice on Saturday and had an assist; like Handley, he has had at least three points in all but one game this season.

*Gergar now has 48 goals on the season, remaining second on the single-season list behind Adam Goldner (56 in 2019), and he also moves into third on the single-season points list with 64.

*Junior Furey was held without a goal for the first time since March 26, but he dished out three assists (including on the game-winner) for his seventh multi-point game out of Penn’s last eight contests.

*Sophomore Cam Rubin had Penn’s other goal on Saturday, his 20th this season., while Jack Schultz had an assist.

*At the other end, senior goalie Patrick Burkinshaw—the Most Outstanding Player at last weekend’s Ivy League Tournament—kept up his stellar play with 15 saves and a .600 save percentage.

*Penn had 13 caused turnovers, led by Peter Blake and Ethan Till who had three each. Till also had five ground balls, while BJ Farrare had six.

*On the faceoff X, senior Jamie Zusi won 17 of his 25 draws and had a game-high nine ground balls.

*Richmond defenseman Ray Baran (Malvern Prep) had four groundballs and a caused turnover.

How It Happened
Richmond opened the scoring on Saturday, scoring a pair of goals just 10 seconds apart about four minutes into the contest. However, the rest of the first quarter was all Penn as the Quakers scored five goals. Gergar got things started off a Smith feed, and then the freshman got the next two—the first when he picked off a pass and scored from distance into an open goal, the next off a Furey feed at the doorstep. Rubin had the next one on extra-man offense, and Handley closed it out with a bruising individual effort to make it 5-2 after one.

The Spiders scored quickly to open the second-quarter scoring, only for Handley to get it back with another solo effort. However, Richmond scored the game’s next three goals, Dalton Young getting two of them 1:40 apart to make it a 6-6 game with 4:56 left. However, Penn had the only goal of the half after that, Gergar using some nice hustle to save a ball from going out near midfield, then feeding Smith in front to get the freshman his hat trick. Penn’s lead was 7-6 at the break.

Richmond tied it up to start the third, taking advantage of a fast-break opportunity, then took its first lead since 2-1 when Lance Madonna found Ryan Dunn in front. Handley got that goal back late in the period, just the Quakers’ second goal in a span of 24:14, and the third quarter ended with the teams level at 8-8.

Penn drew first blood in the fourth quarter, Gergar taking a Furey feed up top and rifling one home, but Richmond tied it up midway through the stanza on an extra-man opportunity. The Spiders then took a 10-9 lead with 3:55 left, Dunn finishing a Ryan Lanchbury feed in another EMO situation.

That set the stage for a frantic final few minutes. Richmond won the faceoff after taking the lead and, after winding the clock down, got off a shot that Burkinshaw saved. However, the Spiders got the rebound and, with a new shot clock, once again ran the clock down before Ethan Till caused a turnover and Jack Joyce got Penn into the offensive zone. The Quakers called a timeout, and out of the break Furey got a shot off that Vigue fielded cleanly. However, Bedard was able to pry the ball loose before Richmond could get it over midfield and Penn was able to get another final crack on offense.

The second bite of the apple proved more fruitful, Handley threading a pass that Smith caught near his ankles at the right post and underhanded in.

Richmond won the ensuing faceoff and had a chance to score in the final seconds, but the shot was blocked and the teams went to overtime.

Zusi won the OT faceoff and Penn quickly called a timeout to set up its final play. Out of the break, Handley again skipped a pass to Furey, who looked like he was going to shoot but instead found Smith wide open in front. The freshman quickly turned and dumped it into the goal, sending Penn Park into a frenzy.

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