PHILADELPHIA – Penn gave No. 9 Penn State everything it could handle in its final nonconference match of the season, taking the 2013 Big Ten champions into the match’s final stages before suffering a 2-1 defeat at Rhodes Field.
After conceding a goal to the Nittany Lions in the 62’ on a Eli Dennis one-touch goal following a Connor Maloney pass, Penn pushed forward to find an equalizer it felt it deserved.
In the 71’, freshman Alec Neumann jumped into an Alex Reddy pass, heading in the serve to bring the Quakers level in the match. It was the fourth goal of the season for Neumann, and the fourth assist of 2013 for Reddy.
Just over a minute later, Duke Lacroix had a chance to give Penn the lead, but his offering was just high to the right.
In the 74’, Penn State gave a good effort to retake the lead, Jordan Tyler sending a shot to goal. Penn keeper Tyler Kinn was up to the challenge, though, leaping to his left for a point-blank save – one of a career-high eight for Kinn in the match.
After another shot from Lacroix was denied by Penn State’s Andrew Wolverton, the Nittany Lions came down the field in the 84’ and found the winning goal. Mason Klerks took a shot from just inside the top of the 18-yard box which was stopped by another Kinn save. However, the rebound went right to the foot of Shane Campbell who was able to quickly knock the second ball in for the eventual game-winner.
The Quakers had one last push in them to hunt a second comeback in four days, Stephen Baker getting two shots off in the final 2:13 of play. His first was stopped by a Wolverton save, the second just outside the right post on a turning shot from 20 yards out.
The Quakers had the edge in shots over their Keystone State rivals, 15-14, but the Nittany Lions were better in terms of shots on target, 10-6. Baker led all players with four shots, while Lacroix and Sam Hayward each had three.
The Quakers played 22 players over the course of the match, keeping players fresh for an important Ivy match at Brown on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Quakers enter the weekend with sole possession of first place in the Ivy League with 10 points, one ahead of second-place Harvard and three ahead of Princeton and Yale.