PHILADELPHIA – The 19th-ranked Quakers scored the first five goals of the game and led by four or more the rest of the way as the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse squad fell to Penn, 10-5, on Saturday afternoon on Sweeney Field. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 0-2 on the season while Penn is now 1-0.
"It was a disappointing outcome here today," said head coach Taylor Wray. "I thought the story of the game was the ground ball stat. They made more plays on the ground, and they beat out some shots that I thought we had opportunities to make and earned some possessions."
Senior goalkeeper T.J. Jones made 15 saves, including seven in the first quarter alone.
"T.J. was exceptional today," added Wray. "He bailed us out on numerous occasions. He is an All-Amercian-caliber goaltender, and he certainly performed like one today."
Saint Joseph's junior attackman Jason Kelly got the Hawks on the scoreboard with his third goal of the season at the 7:47 mark of the second quarter before Penn put away two more to take a 7-1 lead into the halftime break.
Penn's Alex Roesner scored his third of the game to open the third quarter (13:59), but Saint Joseph's senior midfielder Kevin Reidinger put away back-to-back scores (11:32, 3:21) to pull the Hawks to within five, 8-3, to close out the third.
An SJU cross-check penalty assessed at the end of the third quarter gave Penn an EMO to begin the fourth, and the Quakers converted with 14 seconds left on the penalty to go up by six, 9-3 (14:14).
Junior midfielder Kyle Cain kept the Hawks in it with an unassisted goal at the 13:42 mark, but Penn answered with 4:36 to play to once again lead by six, 10-4.
Junior midfielder Hayes McGinley's seventh shot of the day found the back of the net with 2:29 remaining in regulation, but that 10-5 score would stand as time expired.
For the game, Penn held a slight 38-35 edge in shots and went 1-for-3 in EMOS, while the Hawks were held scoreless in two attempts.
The Hawks held a slight edge in face-off wins, going 9-for-17, including a 4-for-4 fourth quarter. Senior face-off specalist Mike Lanham went 4-for-7 from the X, while classmate Danny Manning went 5-of-10. Despite the face-off advantage, the Quakers owned the ground ball category, 26-15.
"We're one-up in the face-offs, and they out-ground-balled us by 11," said Wray. "They had the ball a lot. I think we played a tremendous amount of defense. We had a lot of 'almost stops,' but their guys blew through us. We need to be cleaner and more physical on the ground."
The Hawks return to action next Saturday, February 25 at nationally-ranked Duke. Opening face-off at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. is slated for 1:00 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Junior defenseman Brendan McNicholas made his first collegiate start... The Hawks are now 1-13 all-time against the Quakers.
Photos from today's game will be available for purchase at sjuhawksphotos.photoshelter.com.