NCAA Ticket Info
CAMBRIDGE – Penn is Ivy League champion.
Needing a victory to take the Ancient Eight, Penn scored twice before the match was 12’ old and held off an expected Harvard charge for a 2-0 win at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.
The win gives Penn its eighth Ivy League championship and first since 2008. The title is an outright crown for the Quakers, the third in program history and first since 1972.
With the magnitude of the match, it was no surprise that both teams came out firing. Harvard had an early chance, but it was the Quakers who had the first true chances of the match. In the 4’, Duke Lacroix and Alec Neumann had successive chances, but each was saved by Evan Mendez.
Moments later, though, the Red and Blue would strike first. Lacroix would attempt a cross from the left side, but Harvard was first to the ball. The clear from the Crimson was not successful, and found the boot of senior Nicky Yin who knocked a laser to the top right corner for his first career goal to give Penn a 1-0 lead.
The Crimson had a chance to tie in the 11’, but A.J. Agha’s chip shot was wide. Less than a minute later, the Quakers would double their lead on a Duke Lacroix goal. The junior was alone at the top of the box after Alec Neumann blocked a Harvard clearing pass and Lacroix would dribble past a defender and sneak high eighth of the season inside the right post.
Penn was dangerously close to a third goal in the 28’, but Travis Pillon had a point-blank shot denied by Mendez.
The match's final moments weren't without a shortness of breath for the Quakers as Louis Schott was called for an intentional handball in the 90' and was sent off. In addition, Harvard had a penalty kick to get within one. Kevin Harrington took the penalty, but it hit the post and the clock ran out on Harvard.
Penn will host Providence in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at Rhodes Field at 7 p.m.