PHILADELPHIA – Simon Mathias found the back of the net with two seconds remaining in regulation to lift No. 15/16 Penn to a 9-8 victory over the Bucknell men's lacrosse team on Tuesday night in the Dunning-Cohen Champions Field seasonal air structure.
Mathias, who also registered five assists, capped a wild, back-and-forth game with his diving goal. The Quakers (5-3, 1-0 Ivy League) and Bison (5-3, 3-1 Patriot League) were tied seven times and exchanged leads four times over the course of the contest.
Entering the final frame, Penn held a slim 7-6 lead. After Connor O'Hara completed his hat trick to draw Bucknell even with 9:07 on the clock, Will Sands came from behind the goal to beat Reed Junkin at the 5:45 mark.
Thirty eight seconds later, Adam Goldner netted his fourth goal of the game to even the score at 8-8. Following Goldner's strike, Christian Klipstein denied Kevin McGeary with 3:52 left to play to get the Bison the ball back. They ultimately failed to capitalize on their possession, and the Quakers took over with 1:40 remaining.
Penn held the largest lead of the game, a 3-1 edge, at the 1:38 mark of the opening stanza. After Tommy Sopko made it a 3-2 game with 17 seconds left on the clock in that frame, neither team would manage to build more than a single goal of separation.
Bucknell was led offensively by O'Hara (3g) and Sands (2g-2a). With his pair of goals, Sands now needs just two to become the sixth Bison to net 100 in his career.
The Bison held advantages in shots (30-27) and ground balls (20-17). They split the face-off battle with the Quakers, with Witzal winning 10 of 20.
Mathias (1g-5a), Goldner (4g) and McGeary (2g-1a) drove the Penn offense. Junkin finished with five saves while three Quakers collected two ground balls.
Bucknell's game at Penn was originally set to take place at 4 p.m. at Franklin Field. It was moved to 7 p.m. at the Dunning-Cohen Champions Field seasonal air structure due to weather.
The Bison next travel to No. 6/6 Loyola, the two-time defending Patriot League champion, for a game on Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m.