PHILADELPHIA –The No. 17 Penn Quakers outscored Duke 6-2 in the second half to upset the top-ranked Blue Devils 10-9 in lacrosse action this afternoon at Franklin Field. Penn scored the game’s final four goals en route to the victory.
Duke falls to 4-1 on the year, while Penn improves to 2-1 overall. The Blue Devils never trailed and were tied twice until Penn senior Kevin McGeary netted the go-ahead score with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. McGeary also provided the tying assist just seven seconds prior.
“I thought Penn was terrific today,” said head coach John Danowski. “They were clearly the better team today. The second half they executed great. They won a ton of faceoffs, they were physical, they were tough. You have to tip your cap. They deserved to win.”
After trading goals with the Quakers in the first quarter, the Blue Devils scored four unanswered to start the second period for a 6-2 lead with 4:59 to play. Reilly Walsh started the spurt 4:39 into the frame, stopping Duke’s scoreless drought at 11:12.
Joe Robertson and Justin Guterding followed with scores and Nakeie Montgomery capped the run with an unassisted score for Duke’s largest lead of the afternoon, 6-2. Guterding finished the day with two goals and an assist, while Montgomery and Brad Smith had two goals apiece.
The Blue Devils offense struggled in the third quarter, firing just seven shots and being held scoreless as Penn pulled within two, 7-5. Defensively, Duke stayed steady with Danny Fowler making four stops in the quarter to keep the Quakers from getting any closer than two. Duke committed five turnovers in the period.
After Penn managed to pull within one, the Blue Devils dug in and answered with a pair to go back in front 9-6. Guterding threw his second one in and Montgomery notched his career-best second of the afternoon minutes later.
The Quakers refused to go away, scoring twice in 57 seconds to make it a one-goal game again midway through the final stanza. Momentum remained in Penn’s favor as it continued to win faceoffs – the Quakers won 15-of-22 draws on the day – and it evened the score for the second time as Simon Mathias got free and rifled his fourth of the day past Danny Fowler.
Seven seconds later Connor Keating picked up the ground ball on the faceoff and ran right down the field to find McGeary for the go-ahead goal and game winner. McGeary registered three goals and an assist for four points, while Mathias had a goal and three assists.
Duke got one final chance to tie to force overtime as it forced a Quaker turnover with 28 seconds to go. The Blue Devils cleared, but were unable to get a shot off coming out of the timeout.
Fowler finished the day with a season-best 11 saves, while Reed Junkin was solid with 10 stops.
Duke returns home Saturday, March 3 to host Richmond. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.