PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team (2-0) gave fans a game to remember with a stunning 11-10 win over No. 6 Virginia (3-1) on a beautiful February afternoon at Franklin Field. Tyler Dunn netted the game-winning goal with 5:52 left to play as the Quakers upended the Cavaliers for their 2017 home opener.
The game matched the highest ranked win over an opponent in the Mike Murphy era: the Quakers last posted a win against No. 6 Denver on March 1, 2014, 12-10.
The Quakers were led on the offensive end by Dunn’s three goals and one assist, including the game-winner, while Reilly Hupfeldt and Chris Santangelo each provided two scores apiece. Kevin Gayhardt picked up a game-high five ground balls and caused four turnovers while goalkeeper Reed Junkin added in another stellar performance in net with 16 saves.
Penn tops Virginia in a classic Saturday afternoon shootout 11-10! pic.twitter.com/x6AdDtUClg— Penn Men's Lacrosse (@PennMensLax) February 25, 2017
In the closely fought contest, Virginia held a slight advantage in face-offs and ground balls but were plagued by turnovers and penalty minutes. The Quakers capitalized on those mistakes and stayed composed throughout the contest for the win.
For the second straight week, Penn once again used a hot start to pull ahead for an early lead. The Quakers put up a 3-0 advantage in the opening minutes off scores from Hupfeldt, Santangelo and Alex Roesner, but it was Santangelo who was the star at the start. The junior netted two scores from quick face-off wins and sprinted towards goal to post a pair of scores as Penn jumped out to a 4-1 lead by the 7:05 mark in the first quarter.
Virginia countered with a run of their own, and tied the game for the first of four times when Zed Williams, Dox Aitken and Michael Kuras combined to push the game to 4-4 at the start of the second. By the end of the stanza, both sides would trade scores as neither team could gain more than a one goal advantage by the break. At halftime, the two sides were once again knotted at 7-7.
Coming out of the locker rooms, the Quakers were the ones to get on the board first with a pair of scores from Dunn and a stellar tally in transition from Connor Keating at the 11:26 and 7:39 ticks. The 9-7, two-goal advantage was cut short when UVA's Ryan Lukacovic registered the final goal of the third quarter.
The last 15 minutes provided action packed drama for both sides, but Penn struck first with a Hupfeldt score from a Dunn feed to move to 10-8 tally with 11:30 to play. Despite the lead, the Cavaliers notched two of their own to tie the game at 10-10 with 8:48 on the clock, but Dunn responded for what would be the game-winner with 5:52 to play off a Kevin McGeary assist.
Dunn! Again! #3's hat trick at 9:08 makes the score Penn 11 Virginia 10. pic.twitter.com/7hCArsspc2— Penn Men's Lacrosse (@PennMensLax) February 25, 2017
The Quakers had to rely on their defensive effort in the final minute of the contest as the Cavaliers were given an opportunity off a Penn illegal body check and delay of game. Despite the advantage, the Quakers locked down in their defensive third and Junkin provided big saves in the closing minutes for the Red and Blue to seal the statement win.
The Quakers return to action a week from today when they travel to State College, Pennsylvania, to take on Penn State on Saturday, March 4. Game time is scheduled for Noon.