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Penn men stun No. 1 Brown, 14-9, in Ivy League semifinals

Saturday, 7th May 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/7/22
From Press Release

The 13th-ranked and fourth-seeded University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team advanced to the Ivy League Tournament final with a 14-9 win over top-seeded and host Brown on Friday night.

Penn will meet third-seeded Yale Sunday at noon at Providence, R.I. for the title.

The game was eerily reminiscent of the regular-season meeting between these teams for a half, Penn dominating the first quarter (6-0) but the Bears owning the second (5-0). However, unlike the meeting on April 9 the Quakers never let their hosts draw level, outscoring them 5-2 in the third on the way to the win.

Penn improved to 9-4 with the win and, in addition to making Sunday’s final, solidified its position to host an NCAA Championship game next weekend; Brown fell to 10-5 and will now sweat it out until Sunday’s selection show at 9 p.m.

Quaker Notemeal
*Penn will play in the final for the second straight tournament and the third time ever. The Quakers are 2-0 in the ILT final, beating host Harvard in 2014 and Yale in the most recent final in 2019.

Offensively, senior Dylan Gergar scored five goals—three of them in the first half with the other two coming early in the third quarter when Penn’s lead felt tenuous. That is tied for the fourth-most goals by an individual player in an Ivy Tournament game.

*Senior Sam Handley, who on Wednesday was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, did his part to live up to the billing. He had seven points, scoring three goals and dishing out four assists. That is the fourth-most points by an individual player in an Ivy Tourney game.

*After scoring nine goals across the last three games, Ben Smith only had one on Friday when he rebounded a saved shot by Gergar. However, the freshman had three assists for a four-point night.

*Senior Jack Schultz and freshman Tynan Walsh both had two-point nights on Friday, going for a goal and an assist each.

*Penn’s other goal scorers were Cam Rubin, Gabe Furey (Episcopal Academy) and Jack Joyce while junior James Shipley had an assist. Joyce’s goal was his first this year; he became the 16th different Penn player to score this season.

*Senior Jamie Zusi struggled a bit on the faceoff X in the second quarter, losing all six of his battles. He made up for it in the other three quarters, though, going a combined 14-of-21.
How It Happened
Penn rocketed out of the gate, scoring four goals in the first 4:12 and forcing a Brown timeout. Furey got things started, and then Gergar sandwiched a pair of goals around a Handley solo effort. Things slowed down after that, but it was still the Quakers who provided the offense the rest of the period, Gergar getting his hat trick and Handley his second solo. At the end of one, Penn’s lead was 6-0.

Brown got two of those goals back quickly in the second, the first coming 49 seconds in and the second just 1:36 in. Both teams suffered through an extended drought after that, including missed opportunities on extra-man offense, before the Bears’ Jack Kelly made it a 6-3 game with 3:07 left in the half.
 
The Stevenson-Pincince crowd really came to life in the final seconds of the half, when Brown scored twice in a span of 6.2 seconds which sent the teams to the locker room with Penn’s lead a precarious 6-5.
 
The break seemed to settle the Red and Blue. Gergar opened the third-quarter scoring, rifling home his fourth on a secondary break, and then he answered a Brown with his fifth of the night off a Handley feed. Shortly after that, the Quakers went on extra-man offense and Rubin rifled home a lefty effort from distance to make it 9-6.

Schultz (on another EMO opportunity) and Joyce then scored 39 seconds apart, making it a four-goal run over a 4:02 span and pushing Penn’s lead to 11-6. Brown got one of those back late in the quarter, and the teams entered the final 15 with Penn up by four.

Brown scored 49 seconds into the fourth, briefly resuscitating the Stevenson-Pincince Field crowd, but Handley rocked his way to a goal just nine seconds later and then Zusi somehow rolled a ball back to Farrare on a faceoff scrum. Farrare essentially one-timed a feed Piper Bond for a fast break, and the Quakers’ tic-tac-toe passing ended with Walsh scoring on the doorstep. The two goals came 17 seconds apart and re-established a five-goal margin. Smith made it a six-goal game a few minutes later when he rebounded a Gergar shot that was saved in front.

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