The Drexel Dragons travelled down 33rd Street to meet the 4th seeded University of Pennsylvania in a first round NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament game at Franklin Field. Drexel came away with their initial tournament victory 16 – 11 over their West Philadelphia neighbors. The CAA Champion Dragons (13 – 4) move on and will meet the 5 seed Denver Pioneers in Newark, Delaware in the second round.
Penn held a 6 – 4 lead with 1:16 remaining in the half on a man-down goal by Alex Bronsky. Drexel scored at the 17 second mark when Jules Raucci connected on one of his two goals in the game. The Dragons scored twice more when faceoff specialist Nick Saputo won the draw and raced in on goal to put his team in the lead by a 7 – 6 count. The three goals were the start of a 7 – 0 run over the halves that gave Drexel control of the game. Attack Jared Bourdreau scored twice in that stretch.
Penn attack Nick Doktor ended the run with 7:50 to play in the third period to cut the deficit to 11 – 7 going into the fourth.
Midfielder Ben McIntosh ignited a three goal outburst to start the period for Drexel by scoring twice. Midfielder Ryan Belka added a third goal as the Dragons took a 14 – 7 lead at the 11:13 mark. Penn scored the next 3 goals to move to within four goals with 2:28 to play, but got no closer.
It was a spirited offensive game as the Red and Blue outshot Drexel 47 – 45. The Dragons had a 21 – 10 advantage in faceoffs, 12 – 4 in the second half. Saputo won 21 of 30 for Drexel.
McIntosh and Saputo each scored three goals in the game. McIntosh had 13 shots. Raucci recorded two goals and two assists in the contest. Belka, Boudreau, and Nick Trizano scored two goals each.
For the Red and Blue Doktor recorded a hat trick on 9 shots. Eight Penn players scored a goal each. The Quakers finish the season with an 11 – 4 record.
Written By: Glenn Papazian