Philadelphia, PA - Today the Pennsylvania Quakers used 5 points from Will Phillips (3g,2a) to finish their first unbeaten season at home since 1987. The Quakers other goals were spread out among seven different players. Brown goalie, senior Mike Levin, helped prevent more damage as he contributed 15 saves. Penn finishes the Ivy League season at 3-3, while Brown drops to 1-2 in league play.
The game started with both teams working through long patient possessions, until Will Phillips was able to find Pat Rogers to put the Quakers on the board. Neither defense seemed willing to break during the first quarter. Good looks at the cage were hard to come by. Alan Eberstein was able to give the Quakers a 2-0 lead right before the end of the first. Eberstein drove from X and while falling put the ball past Brown goalie, Mike Levin.
Penn would waste no time building on that lead as James Riordan added a goal 43 seconds into the period. Riordan worked his man up from X and thanks to a nice question mark dodge, was able to get the separation needed for a bounce finish past Levin. It would take another six minutes until Brown got on the board. Chris Mucciolo opened the scoring for Brown as he beat Penn goalie Ryan Kelly after an inside roll with a low-to-high shot. That was as close as Brown would get in the first half. Penn midfielder Zandy Reich was stoned by Levin at about the 7:40 mark, but at 7:21 on the same possession he would get his revenge. DJ Andrzejewski fed Reich who ripped a shot just inside the upper right corner, giving Penn the 4-1 lead. Penn would add one more goal before the half as Will Phillips found Alex Salihi on a somewhat broken play. Salihi found himself in a one-on-one situation and was able to beat Levin high.
Brown came out of halftime obviously fired up and determined to cut into the 4 goal deficit. At the 11:32 mark, Chazz Woodson used his quickness to get a step on his man from X. With the slide coming towards him, Woodson fed Dave Madeira on the crease who finished the play. Alex Buckley would contribute with a goal for Brown with 8:22 left in the third. Buckley’s defender had fallen giving him the space he needed to tuck it and then dump it into the Quaker net.
Not to be outdone, and not comfortable with a 5-3 lead, Penn would respond. Luke Dixson went on a high sweep and put a lefty bounce shot past Levin from about 13 yards out. In a showstopper performance, PJ Gilbert would put Penn up 4 with 2:51 in the quarter. Alex Salihi held the ball at X and fed a cutting Gilbert. With a poor angle and a rapidly closing defense, Gilbert absolutely ripped a behind-the-back shot just inside the post past a stunned Levin. The goal energized the Penn team and the 523 in attendance.
Brown would bring the game back to three goals as Woodson again drove and drew the double team, this time finding Chris Mucciolo with only 2 seconds left in the quarter. That was as close as Brown would get.
The fourth quarter became the Will Phillips show, as the senior, playing his last game at Franklin Field, would be responsible for the game’s next three goals. Brown gave Penn a man advantage to start the 4th, but goalie Levin kept the game from getting out of hand making two point blank saves on the man-down. As the penalty released Levin made another save on an Andrzejewski bounce shot, but Phillips was there to grab the ball as it bounced off Levin’s chest and throw it past Levin. At the 11:43 mark, Phillips found Brown in a zone and somehow found himself unguarded at X. He wrapped around untouched and put the Quakers up 5. Phillips again would beat Levin at the 8:20 mark shortly after a “keep it in” call was made by the refs. Phillips did a little stutter step that gave him the space he needed to rip a low-to-high shot that Levin didn’t stand a chance on.
Junior midfielder Britton Derkac would pull Brown back to within 5. Kyle Wailes found Derkac who put a textbook overhand shot past Kelly with 7:33 left in the game. Penn would go on to control the ball for the majority of the remaining time and go on to complete their first home undefeated season since 1987. Phillips extended his scoring streak to 29 games.
For Brown, they had trouble all day getting good looks at the Penn goal, managing only 10 shots on goal and only 7 first half shots. Ryan Kelly contributed with 5 saves for Penn, but Penn was also lucky in that there were at least 3 posts hit on Brown shots. Had those gone in, obviously the game may have been different. Mike Levin played very well for Brown as he had 15 saves, many of which were point-blank saves. Had Levin not played as well as he did, Penn could have easily scored more than 10.
The most exciting matchup to watch was Brown’s Chazz Woodson going against Penn captain Patrick Connelly. Connelly was able to hold Brown’s leading scorer to only 2 assists, but Woodson displayed his superb quickness throughout the day.
Penn was near perfect in clearing as they went 14-15, Brown on the other hand was only 14 for 21. Perhaps the most telling stats of the day were the grounball advantage that Penn held, 36-16, and Penn’s 43 shots as opposed to Brown’s 28 (10 of which were in the 4th quarter).
Brown looks to recover from two tough Ivy League losses next weekend against Dartmouth. For Penn, with the Ivy League season over, they look to two ranked opponents, Loyola and Maryland over the next three weeks. After a tough week, expect Brown to drop significantly from their #10 ranking. I also wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing Penn in rankings. With wins over ranked Cornell and Brown, a one-goal loss to Hopkins, they may have an outside shot at the tournament. While it is impossible for Penn to gain the Ivy League’s AQ, and with losses to Dartmouth and Yale, they will need to turn some heads in their upcoming battles. But when one looks at their losses, you can see they have been in every game, led Princeton 6-5 in the fourth quarter, so that’s 3 losses to top 10 teams (Princeton, Hopkins and Army), an unranked (for now), but tough Dartmouth and Yale. You do the math, they can make a case for an at-large bid with wins at either Loyola or Maryland (definitely with both).
|Will Phillips||(3, 2)|
|David Andrzejewski||(0, 2)|
|Alex Salihi||(1, 1)|
|James Riordan||(1, 0)|
|Alan Eberstein||(1, 0)|
|Patrick Gilbert||(1, 0)|
|Zandy Reich||(1, 0)|
|Patrick Rogers||(1, 0)|
|Luke Dixson||(1, 0)|
|Ryan Kelly||5 (0.500)|