Penn Falls at Home to No. 9-Ranked Cornell

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's lacrosse team allowed Cornell to jump out to an early lead, stayed within range of the ninth-ranked Big Red into the fourth quarter, but had to chase the game down the stretch and allowed its guests to pull away for a 12-6 victory Saturday at Franklin Field.

With the loss, Penn falls to 4-5 overall (all five losses to teams ranked among the top nine in the latest national coaches' poll) and 0-2 in the Ivy League. Cornell improved to 7-1 overall and is now 2-0 in league play.

The national runner-up a year ago, Cornell jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead Saturday with three goals in the first four minutes. Ryan Hurley got things started just 45 seconds into the contest off a Rob Pannell feed, then Chris Ritchie netted a goal at 12:49 and Scott Austin quickly followed off another Pannell feed. Penn would chase the game the rest of the day.

The Quakers got one back two minutes after Austin's goal, as sophomore Dan Savage tallied his eighth goal of the season. However, Austin finished a feed from Chris Ritchis, and the Big Red were up 4-1 after one.

The lead expanded in the second quarter, when Ross Gillum scored, but Penn answered with a pair of goals just 23 seconds apart from Savage and Morgan Griff. That made the score 5-3, but Cornell quickly got one back as Steve Mock finished a Ritchie feed. The 6-3 score held up to halftime.

In the third, Savage scored his third of the day early, but more than five minutes went by without a goal before Cornell's Jon Thomson scored. Rob Fitzpatrick got that one back with a nice effort from behind the goal, making the score 7-5 with six minutes left in the third. However, Cornell's Roy Lang was able to get on the board, and the Big Red's lead was 8-5 heading into the final quarter.

Austin and Penn's Greg Ives traded goals in the first four minutes of the final stanza, but the Quakers were forced to extend their defense after that as Cornell was able to keep possession. The Big Red found openings in a spent defense -- Cornell won 16 of the game's 22 faceoffs and had a lot of possession time all day -- and netted three goals in a three-minute span late in the game to put the margin at six.

Austin finished the game with four goals, while Pannell had six assists for Cornell. For Penn, Savage had three goals and Tim Schwalje had two assists. In goal for the Quakers, the team switched it up from recent games as Joe Hegener got the start and Chris Casey relieved him at halftime. Both players had six saves as Cornell outshot Penn, 40-32.

Penn returns to action next Saturday at Yale, facing off with the Bulldogs at 1:00 p.m.

2010-03-27



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