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No. 24 Penn men's lacrosse beats UAlbany 11-7 in promising performance

No. 24 Penn men's lacrosse beats UAlbany 11-7 in promising performance

 


02/17/24-mens-lacrosse-v-georgetown-weining-ding

Junior forward Luke DiNola drives toward the goal against Georgetown's Dylan Hess on Feb. 17.

Credit: Weining Ding

Despite nearly getting bitten, the Quakers tamed the Great Danes on a Tuesday matinee.

No. 24 Penn men's lacrosse defeated UAlbany 11-7 in a game that saw several momentum shifts.

UAlbany (0-2) struck quickly, scoring in the first minute of play off the stick of UAlbany offense Silas Richmond. The packed Penn (1-1) fans at Franklin Field let out a collective groan as the memory of the large deficit the team quickly fell into in its season opener was still fresh in everyone's minds . Was there a rehearsal in store?

After giving up that goal, the Rouge et Bleu looked to react with ferocity, and that's exactly what they did. Once again scoring the first goal of the game for the Quakers, junior forward Luke DiNola fired a missile into the back of the net. Following this DiNola dart, the Quakers kept their foot on the accelerator.

The first 15 minutes of play was best described as an offensive attack. The Red and Blue's scoring celebration was an open invitation, as five different Quakers players scored goals in the opening period. For the Great Danes, turnovers proved costly, as the team repeatedly gave possession back to the Quakers, allowing Penn to get some good looks on offense.

The second period saw the Quakers maintain their lead, but the Rouge et Bleu saw much more discord than the previous period. Penn's seemingly superhero-like defense in the first half now looked vulnerable, allowing a four-goal bleed. Additionally, Penn shot the ball massively less than UAlbany throughout those 15 minutes. The Great Danes recorded 10 shots on goal to the Quakers' four. The Quakers' inability to get a good look at the net was due to the Purple and Gold's swarming defense, which systematically shut down any offensive play calls. Penn was suddenly knocked down.

As halftime approached, Outkast's upbeat 2003 hit Hey Ya! » came out of the Franklin Field speakers, echoing off the metal stands. Neither the energy of Penn's players nor their fans gathered to warm up matched the song, as the momentum now belonged to UAlbany.

To start the third period, junior forward Ben Smith scored his third goal of the season off a perfectly placed pass from junior forward Tynan Walsh. The Walsh-Smith duo looked extremely dominant throughout the third period as Smith didn't have to wait long to score his fourth goal of the season. Smith found the back of the net at 11:54 in the quarter, thanks to another assist from Walsh. Walsh was rewarded for his assist by scoring two goals in the period.

When asked how the Quakers were able to regain momentum at halftime, Ben Smith credited his coach.

Coach Murph just brought us in and he always told us before the game to just do the simple plays,” Smith said. “One play at a time, and kind of do the little things well. So, kind of focusing on possession by possession, just trying to do that and play as a unit. And it worked throughout.

The final period saw the Quakers maintain their lead and ultimately win the game 11-7. Although the outcome of the game looked bleak after the second period, Penn never allowed the Great Danes to capitalize on their brief hold on the momentum. After the Rouge et Bleu's defeat against Georgetown at the start of the season, this match was like a breath of fresh air. Ranked teams should be able to bounce back in dominant fashion after getting hit in the mud, and that's exactly what the Quakers did Tuesday.

It's good to get into the win column, said Smith, who finished with four goals. It's really good to get the ball rolling after last Saturday, so it's so good for the team.

Penn is scheduled to face No. 14 Delaware on Saturday, February 24, in a highly touted matchup. Entering the game, the Quakers look to build momentum while simultaneously cleaning up their game.

Smith highlighted some of those areas of needed improvement, saying, “Grabbing ground balls is a big thing, and then [limiting] penalties, then turnovers.

Fans only have to wait less than a week to see if the Quakers cure some of their ailments and improve to 2-1 on the season.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.thedp.com/article/2024/02/penn-mens-lacrosse-vs-ualbany-recap

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