CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Zack Losco scored three more goals and earned the Ivy League Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award as third-seeded Penn defeated top-seeded Harvard, 7-5, at Harvard Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Quakers (11-3) earn the League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Harvard (10-6) will wait for a possible at-large slot when selections are announced Sunday night.
It is the fourth time in five years of tournament play that the top-seed in the tournament has not won the championship and earned the automatic bid.
The Quakers will make their 12th appearance all-time, last qualifying in 2011. Penn hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game, however, since 1988 when they advanced to the national semifinals.
After falling behind 4-0, Penn held Harvard scoreless for nearly 45 minutes. Losco, who had five goals and an assist to rally Penn to victory over Cornell on Friday night in the semifinals, scored a pair of man-up goals to help get the Quakers back to even before halftime.
Penn netminder Brian Feeney recorded eight of his 12 saves in the second and third quarters to help keep Harvard scoreless.
Harvard jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. Daniel Eipp opened the scoring 3:07 into the contest with an unassisted tally. Then Carl Zimmerman, Peter Schwartz and Devin Dwyer each scored in a span of three minutes to give Harvard a four-goal advantage.
But then the Crimson went cold. Harvard didn’t score for the remainder of the half and the Quakers chipped away at the lead. Kevin Brown scored 12 seconds after Dwyer’s tally to get Penn on the scoreboard.
Losco scored a pair of man-up goals and Drew Belinsky scored unassisted and the teams were back to even.
Harvard’s drought lasted through the third quarter and became contagious. Penn began a drought as well that lasted into the early fourth quarter. Nick Doktor scored 1:12 into the fourth to give the Quakers their first lead of the day.
Reid Tudor scored just his second goal of the season, making a long run from the defensive end to score with 12:13 left in regulation and give the Quakers a two-goal lead.
As Harvard’s drought continued, Losco scored his third of the day with 5:43 left off of a feed from Doktor and Penn had a 7-4 advantage.
Harvard finally snapped the scoreless string at 44 minutes, 58 seconds when Will Walker scored with 4:41 to play. Walker hit the post three minutes later, but that is as close as the Crimson got the rest of the way.
Along with Harvard, Cornell (11-4) will also be watching to see its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday night. The Ivy League has received multiple NCAA bids each of the last five years and in 10 of 12.
Matt Donovan, Cornell
Conrad Oberbeck, Yale
Brian Fischer, Harvard
Danny Feeney, Penn
Daniel Eipp, Harvard
Zack Losco, Penn
Devin Dwyer, Harvard
Nick Doktor, Penn
Brian Feeney, Penn
Peter Schwartz, Harvard