Penn Ties the Game Late, Wins in Overtime
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 5/14/2022 –
In another close game win the University of Pennsylvania Men’s Lacrosse team rallied late tying the game with 29 seconds, then won it 17 seconds into the extra period. Both goals were scored by freshman attack Ben Smith who scored a career-high 5 goals and added an assist. Penn defeats the Richmond Spiders 11 – 10 and advances to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.
“We’ve been in that spot four or five times this year,” said Smith. “All fifty guys on the sideline knew our defense was going to come up big, get a stop for us, get it back on offense, and get it done.”
“There was a comfort level being in a one-goal game down the stretch and going into overtime,” said Penn Coach Mike Murphy. “We’re familiar with that situation. It was easier for our guys to embrace the situation and do their jobs.”
Set Up for a Thrilling Finish
The game between the Ivy League champions and the SoCon titlist was a thriller throughout. Richmond started fast, Penn came back. After three quarters the game stood even at 8 apiece. The Red and Blue grabbed a 9 – 8 lead on a goal by Dylan Gergar, his second of the game with 9:11 on the clock. The Spiders tied it just under two minutes later when Luke Frankeny found the back of the net.
Both goalie were making key saves. In the fourth quarter alone Quakers goalie Patrick Burkinshaw made 5 of his 15 saves. On the other end Spiders net minder Zach Vigue kept the ball from rolling over the goal line 3 times of his 11 overall.
With just under 4 minutes left in regulation Richmond broke through on an extra-man goal by Ryan Dunn. The Spiders won the faceoff and held on to the ball looking for the clinching score.
Rally at the End
After back and forth Gabe Furey put a shot on net for the Red and Blue with a minute to go. Vigue made the save. Penn midfielder Ben Bedard caused a turnover picking up the ground ball with 44 seconds to play. Murphy felt that caused turnover was the most important play of the game. Smith got the ball and sent a low shot into the goal with 29 seconds on the clock. Sam Handley got the assist. There would be an extra period.
Jamie Zusi won the faceoff, the 17th win of 25 for the game. Penn called timeout to set up the offense. Smith scored the game winner on the next shot assisted by Furey.
“We did a new look on offense with me coming in high in the crease,” Smith said in describing the goal. “Throughout the game I was coming in low. Gabe Furey beat his guy and threw it through the double. We’ve been practicing that all week.”
Handley had a 4 point effort with 3 goals and an assist. Gergar netted 2 goals for Penn along with an assist. Furey handed out a game-high 3 assists. Smith was credited with an asssist.
For Richmond Dalton Young scored a team-high 3 goals. Ryan Dunn recorded two goals and an assist. Lance Madonna was credited with a goal and an assist.
The Rain, The Park, and Other Things
The game was played at Penn Park as Franklin Field was unavailable due to commencement activities. Rain fell the whole game. The Quakers scorers; Handley and Smith felt the weather had an adverse effect on play rather than the venue.
“The big story line for us was the rain,” Handley said. “It impacted our sticks and our ability to plant our feet and go. That was a bigger story than Franklin Field vs. Penn.”
“It’s kind of cool playing down there,” Smith said. “I think it was more the rain than anything else.”
Team Enjoying Advancing to Quarterfinals
The #3 seeded Quakers play on May 21 in Hempstead, NY against the winner of the #6 Rutgers vs, Harvard game. That is next week, they can enjoy the excitement of getting another game.
“It just hit me, we won that game and will be in the final eight,” Murphy realized. “That is very exciting. We’ll play next week, and spend one more week together. That’s been our mantra Earning Another Week Together.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian