SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Penn did everything it could in a double-overtime thriller at UC-Santa Barbara, but the final goal of the match went the Gauchos way in a 2-1 loss for the Quakers to complete its California swing.
Moments after Austin Kinn’s heel shot on a corner kick was saved at the last second by UCSB keeper Josh McNeely, the Gauchos launched into transition. Ismaila Jome settled the ball 25 yards out and on the left flank, feeding a cross to the box with found the head of Charlie Miller as the forward knocked the game-winner inside the right post.
Penn had the better chances throughout the second overtime, including a shot from Duke Lacroix in the 103’ minute following a pass from Matt Poplawski. Lacroix had a step on the left side, but his back-footed touch was just wide. On the ensuing corner, the serve found Kinn who was inches from the winner.
The first overtime saw both offenses unleashed. There were seven scoring chances combined, none more dangerous than a corner from UCSB in the 95’. The Gauchos served a ball into the box and it found the head of Achille Campion whose knock looked pure until Tyler Kinn got his right glove on the ball and steered it away.
In the final minute of the first session of extra time, Alec Neumann almost won it for the Red and Blue with a header but his diving attempt was slightly deflected by a UCSB defender. On the ensuing corner, Sam Hayward’s entry feed found Louis Schott, but his shot with 15 seconds left was blocked.
Stephen Baker dribbled the Quakers to overtime with his second goal of the season. Moments after the Gauchos had taken the lead, Baker won a loose ball 25 yards out, and faked out one defender before stepping to the top of the 18 where he slipped a shot top left corner to knot that match, 1-1.
UC-Santa Barbara had gotten on the board first in the 76’ when Adis Islamovic got a head on a ball following a serve from Ismalia Jome which Charlie Miller directed to goal.
Both sides had quality chances throughout the second half, none better than Sam Hayward’s run down the middle of the park in the 65’. He slipped by a defender to attack goalkeeper Josh McNeely 1v1, the only thing denying Penn a 1-0 lead the feet of McNeely who slid his feet to his left to kick away Hayward’s shot.
The Gauchos came right back down the field after Hayward’s miss, Kinn going to his right to halt a Drew Murphy shot.
The stats reflect how even the match was. Total shots were 13-12 in favor of Penn, while the Gauchos held a 7-6 edge in corner kicks.
The Quakers return to Philadelphia for its first match at renovated Rhodes Field on Thursday against 2012 national finalist Georgetown at 7:30 p.m.