The Penn Quakers jumped out to a 5-0 first quarter lead and were able to do enough the rest of the way to fend off a potential Army comeback to seal the 13-8 win at Franklin Field in Philadelphia today. Army battled back after their bad first quarter to go into halftime down only 7-5, but they were unable to get closer than two goals in the second half, as Penn’s dominance at the face-off helped to prevent a late-game collapse.
This was Penn’s 12th win in a row. Going into the game they were tied with Penn State for the longest active winning streak in the nation at 11. Penn State will have a chance to tie the Quakers tomorrow as they play UMBC at noon on Sunday. The Quakers win today ties them with the 1984 Penn team for longest winning streak in program history.
Simon Mathias had a very good game today for Penn, as he finished with four goals and one assist versus the Black Knights. Much like Yale earlier today, Penn had a phenomenal day at the face-off winning 22 of 25 attempts, as Kyle Gallagher had another big day at the dot. Goalie Reed Junkin had nine saves today and had a big stop in the fourth quarter when Army was down 10-8. One concerning note for the Quakers was turnovers, as they committed 23 of them this afternoon. Nevertheless, Army was unable to capitalize enough on Penn’s sloppy play to pull off the upset.
Sean O’Brien had a very good game today for the Black Knights, as he finished with two goals and 3 assists to lead Army in scoring. Nate Jones also played well, finishing the afternoon with a hat-trick. Unfortunately for Army, star goalie A.J. Barretto struggled in the net, as he only had six saves and allowed all 13 of Penn’s goals today.
Penn moves on to play Yale in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. This will be the the third match-up between the two Ivy League rivals. While Penn won the two previous contests, both games were very close. Indeed, Penn’s regular season win over Yale was in overtime and their rematch in the Ivy League Tournament title game was another one-goal win by the Quakers. Given how the two previous games went, next weekend’s Second Round match-up should be a real treat.