The Harvard men’s lacrosse team wasn’t without its opportunities on Saturday afternoon.
But after jumping out to an early lead, the Crimson allowed Penn to pull even by the half, and the Quakers’ went on a late-game run that proved too much for Harvard to overcome as it fell, 13-11, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
The Crimson (6-6, 2-2 Ivy) entered the fourth quarter trailing by just one goal, but Penn’s Anthony Adler added to the deficit with back-to-back scores midway through the frame.
Harvard freshman attackman Will Walker scored off of a feed from tri-captain Kevin Vaughan to make it 12-10 with just under three minutes to play. But the Crimson offense was unable to make a run, and the Quakers (2-8, 1-4 Ivy) drove home the dagger as Ryan Parietti netted his team’s final goal with 30 seconds to play.
Senior attackman Jeff Cohen scored a hat trick to go with two assists for Harvard while teammates Walker and Vaughan added two goals apiece.
The Quakers, whose only other win this season came against No. 9 North Carolina, have struggled to find wins against some of the country’s best competition.
“They’ve played the hardest schedule in the country,” Crimson coach Chris Wojcik ’96 said. “They are a very good team.”
Indeed, the Quakers eight losses belie a rather competitive season.
Five of those losses have come against teams that were at the time nationally ranked, while three have been by just one goal.
The defeat drops Harvard, which would have clinched a spot in the Ivy League tournament with a win on Saturday, to fourth place in the conference standings, the last spot which gains a postseason bid.
Penn got on the board first two minutes into the game with a score from junior attackman Tim Schwalje, but the Crimson’s Cohen responded with an unassisted goal three minutes later to even the game at one.
Harvard added three unanswered goals from there. Cohen scored again off of a feed from senior midfielder Terry White, sophomore attackman Daniel Eipp netted an unassisted goal, and Vaughan finished a man-up goal off of a Cohen pass with just under six minutes to play in the quarter.
But the Quakers answered soon after. Zack Losco scored at 5:25 and senior attackman John Conneely tallied a goal two minutes later to pull Penn within one, 4-3.
The Crimson’s Will Walker added a goal with two minutes remaining in the quarter to push the Harvard lead back to two.
The Crimson offense was silent in the second quarter, failing to score on its six shots. Penn took advantage, striking twice.