No. 17 Harvard Tops No. 15 Penn in Ivy Semifinal

ITHACA, N.Y. Dean Gibbons amassed five points on three goals and two assists, and Jeff Cohen netted three goals of his own to propel the No. 17 Harvard men's lacrosse team to a 12-8 win over No. 15 Penn in an Ivy League tournament semifinal contest Friday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.

Harry Krieger recorded nine saves for the Crimson, which improves to 10-5 overall, while the Quakers fall to 8-6. The victory gives Harvard its first 10-win season since claiming 11 victories in 1998.

Harvard will face either No. 2 Cornell or No. 20 Yale in the Ivy League final Sunday, May 8 at noon. The game, which will be televised live on ESPNU and, will determine the conference's automatic qualifier to the upcoming NCAA tournament.

The Crimson took a 2-0 lead midway through the first quarter, as Gibbons assisted on goals by Cohen and Ryan Stevens goals for Harvard early on in the opening frame. Jack Doyle made it 3-1 in favor of the Crimson as he found the back of the net with 2:48 to play in the first. With 17 ticks left on the clock in the opening stanza, Daniel Eipp found Cohen in front of the net for a score as Harvard went up 4-1.

Gibbons tallied a goal at 13:43 of the second to increase Harvard's lead to 5-1. The Crimson continued to control the flow of the game, as Cohen netted his third goal only 52 seconds later at 12:51. Gibbons score again at the 9:38 mark, upping Harvard's advantage to 7-1. Eipp added another goal for the Crimson at 7:23, helping Harvard carry an 8-3 lead into the locker room.

In the third, Terry White gave Harvard a six-goal cushion, 9-3, at 11:50, and with 5:19 to play in the quarter, Peter Schwartz tallied a man-up goal, as the Crimson went into the fourth up 10-5. Kevin Vaughan and Gibbons added goals early in the fourth, with Gibbons tallying his third goal of the game at 10:53, increasing the Crimson's lead to 12-5.

The Crimson, which finished 3 of 3 on man-up opportunities, was 16 of 17 on clear attempts and led the Quakers in ground balls, 32-24. Vaughan and Cohen paced the Crimson with four ground balls apiece.

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ITHACA, N.Y. - The first time Penn and Harvard played this season, on April 16 in Cambridge, Mass., Penn never trailed. And while the host Crimson came back three times to tie the game, ultimately Penn won in double overtime, 7-6.

Friday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., things could not have been more different. In an Ivy League Tournament semifinal, third-seeded Harvard seemed a step ahead of Penn from the opening face-off. The Quakers were unable to make up for the Crimson's first-half roundhouse -- in particular, a knockout blow that bridged the first and second quarters -- and took a 12-8 loss.

Harvard improved to 10-5 with the win, and will face the winner of Friday night's second semifinal between No. 1 seed Cornell and No. 4 seed Yale on Sunday. For Penn, at 8-6, the chances of making the 16-team NCAA Championship field took a significant hit. That field will be announced on Sunday night.

Harvard the game's first two goals, as Jeff Cohen and then Ryan Stevens both scored feeds from Dean Gibbons. Penn responded with its first goal about a minute later, as John Conneely bounced a long-range shot that just tucked in under the crossbar. Ryan Parietti was credited with the assist.

Harvard exploded at that point, though, scoring six times in a span of 9:25 that started in the first quarter and ended midway through the second.

The Crimson's third goal came with 2:48 left in the first quarter, as Jack Doyle got free and scored an unassisted effort. Then, with just 17 seconds left, Daniel Eipp beat his defender behind the goal and fed Cohen for a quick-stick goal that made the score 4-1 after one.

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