NCAA Lacrosse: Penn Outlasts Princeton 11-10 in Ivy League Opener

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NCAA Lacrosse: Penn Outlasts Princeton 11-10 in Ivy League Opener
Photo Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

In a game that featured rain, sleet, snow and a one-hour lightning delay, the Penn Quakers defended their home turf Saturday, defeating Princeton 11-10.

A misty warm-up atmosphere made way for a first quarter full of snow, slippery turf and a ton of sloppy play. Penn took advantage of the conditions, leading 3-0 after the first quarter. After going up 4-0 just seconds into the second quarter, Princeton broke through and went on a streak of their own. Four straight goals from the Tigers had the game tied at four at the end of the first half.

What would normally be an innocent 10-minute intermission turned into a one-hour rain delay of a halftime, leaving both teams cold and idle on a chilly day in West Philadelphia. After what seemed like an eternity, the teams returned to the field and essentially started all over.

Justin Murphy was fantastic at the faceoff X for Princeton, a part of their game that had been inconsistent coming into the matchup against Penn. His success allowed Princeton to take a 5-4 lead before things really got interesting.

In a game of streaks, Penn and Princeton fought back and forth, with Penn finding themselves with an 11-8 lead with 2:44 to go in the game. From there, penalties made opportunities for both teams. Princeton scored on man-up opportunities, while penalties called on the Tigers essentially ruined their comeback opportunity.

With 45 seconds left in the game, Princeton got possession and fired three quality shots that could have tied it up. In the end, a turnover in the crease allowed Penn to hold on and win their first Ivy League game of the season. 

Mike MacDonald was brilliant for Princeton, scoring four goals and adding two assists on the day. Midfielder Tom Schreiber was clutch in big moments of the game, scoring three goals and adding two assists of his own. Kip Orban got Princeton going early and finished with two goals and an assist on the day.

Defensively, Derick Raabe was fantastic on ground balls, and freshman goalie Matt O'Conner had some of the best saves of his young career. He finished with 12 saves on the day.

For Penn, the Quakers were lead by Isaac Bock, who scored three huge goals and added an assist. Drew Belinsky had two goals and two assists, while Ryan Parietti added three assists.

Goaltending was also a strength for Penn today, as Brian Feeney recorded 10 saves and a 50 percent save rate against a potent Princeton offense.

Penn will have another tough test next Saturday as they travel to take on the Cornell Big Red in Ithaca, NY.

Princeton will host Yale on Friday night in New Jersey.

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