Penn men's lacrosse emerging as Ivy League power

Matt Leon
April 04, 2019 - 1:43 pm
The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team celebrates beating defending national champion Yale.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team is rolling.

The Quakers have won five in a row after a 0-3 start, including their first three Ivy League games. This is the first time Penn has started its Ivy slate 3-0 since 1984, and this hot streak has allowed the Quakers to rise as high as No. 6 in the national polls.

This Penn winning streak includes impressive victories over nationally ranked teams such as Villanova and Cornell, but the real head turner during this stretch came last time out on Saturday, when the Quakers beat Yale in triple overtime at Franklin Field, 13-12. The Bulldogs are the defending national champions and were ranked No. 2 in the country this season going into the game, and this represented the first time the Quakers had beaten the Bulldogs since 2015.

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"It was big," Penn head coach Mike Murphy said. "We've played however many top-five teams, but to beat them in that fashion as an established power, returning national champion, and really as the elite team in our league for the last half-dozen years or so, that was significant. But at the same time, we've only won three Ivy games, and it was still March at the time. So we're still in the middle of this whole thing and certainly haven't accomplished anything we set out to accomplish. But certainly feeling good about where we are right now and hungry to keep improving and win some more games."

Murphy talks about what's allowed the Quakers to enjoy the success they are currently experiencing.

"One of the things is that we're complete," he said. "This is probably the most complete team that we've had in my 10 years here  offensively, defensively, facing off, kind of all aspects. And we're pretty deep, we've got guys that don't even play for us that I think are going to be very good players down the road. So I think all of that fits in and the seniors have done a fantastic job of driving the process and taking ownership of everything. I think they're a big reason why we are where we are."

Freshman midfielder Sam Handley leads the Quakers with 31 points while junior attacker Adam Goldner is the team's goal scoring leader with 27.

The Quakers will look to stay hot on Saturday when they visit Brown up in Providence in a key Ivy League battle.

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