PHILADEELPHIA – Slump officially busted.
Senior Stephen Baker broke a six-match goalless streak in the 94’, breaking a 2-2 tie and pushing Penn into first place in the Ivy League via a 3-2 win over Yale at Rhodes Field. The Quakers ended the weekend in sole possession of first place after the Quakers, Yale and Princeton all began the day in a three-way tie.
Baker factored in all three goals, assisting on a pair of game-tying goals for the Quakers who connected twice on corner kicks. Penn did not lead in the match until the final whistle, twice having to rally after Yale goals.
Baker cooked up a win for the Quakers in the 94', pouncing on a loose ball following a great play from Alec Neumann. The freshman converged on Yale's keeper just outside the six-yard line, blocking a clear attempt which rattled over to two dangerous weapons -- Duke Lacroix and Baker. The ball defelcted off Lacroix and to the foot of Baker who tapped it home for the winning score.
Baker’s second assist of the match came in the 87’, a low lining serve on a corner kick from the left side which nicked Austin Kinn and found the head of Jonny Dolezal who sent in his second goals of the season to tie the game.
Proceedings almost didn’t reach overtime, only a Tyler Kinn stretching save keeping the game knotted. Cody Wilkins headed a shot towards Kinn with four seconds left, but Kinn leaped to his left and deflected the shot wide.
Yale became the first Ivy League team to score a goal on the Quakers in 2013 with a goal from Henry Albrecht in the 45’. Albrecht looped in a free kick from in front of the Penn bench, and the momentum of the shot carried Kinn into the goal, ending a run of 422:07 of Ivy League play without allowing a goal by the Quakers dating back to the final match of 2012. For 2013, Penn’s run of 336:47 without a goal came to an end on the Albrecht goal.
The Red and Blue tied the game in the 53’, Baker launching a corner kick from the left corner to the head of Matt Poplawski who headed in his first career goal to the left post to tie the game. Sam Hayward almost doubled the lead shortly thereafter, breaking in alone on goal but sending his shot into the sliding feet of Yale’s keeper.
The win improves Penn to 6-6-1 in 2013, and renders the Red and Blue 4-0-1 in their last five games. The streak is Penn’s longest since a six-game unbeaten streak from Sept. 29-Oct. 23, 2010. Penn’s five match unbeaten streak in the Ivy League dating back to last season is its longest since a six-match (4-0-2) streak over the 2008-09 season.
The Quakers have won their last three one-goal matches, each at home. The win in overtime is Penn’s first since Nov. 12, 2011 against Harvard – a span of three extra time matches.
The Quakers head on the road for their next game, taking on Brown in Providence Nov. 2 at 4 p.m.