PRINCETON – After a 2009 season where Penn needed 15 matches to record six victories, the Quakers have turned the tides in one-goal matches – in turn, finding the six-win mark in much quicker fashion.
The 25th-ranked Quakers scored in each half, netting the winner with just over 15 minutes to play to down Richmond, 2-1, at the Princeton Men’s Soccer Invitational. With the victory, the Red and Blue improve to 6-2-0 on the season.
The big swing for Penn in 2010 has been the ability to win close matches. After losing five one-goal matches over the course of ’09, Penn has won three of them already in 2010.
Stephen Baker scored his third game-wining goal of 2010, finishing off a 1v1 play against Richmond keeper Zac Brown in the 74th minute, taking an entry pass from Christian Barreiro and beating the keeper for his seventh goal of the season. His 16 points in eight games and seven goals would have been the team high through the entire 17-game schedule in 2009.
Loukas Tasigianis opened the scoring for Penn, with a strike in the 24th minute. Tasigianis worked a nifty play with Travis Cantrell, taking Cantrell’s cross from the right flank while finding space on the left. The senior then sent a low liner back across the crease to the low right corner for his second goal of the season.
Penn carried the play in the opening portion of the match, with four shots in the first 13 minutes. The Quakers finished the half with seven shots to Richmond’s four.
In the 61st minute, Richmond answered with a goal by Houston Oldham. He stripped Aaron Ross of the ball in the midfield and rushed in transition towards Penn’s goal. A shot from 20-yards out eluded Ben Berg to even the game.
The Quakers had a 17-11 advantage in shots, and an eight to three lead in shots reaching goal. Brown did his best to give Richmond a chance to stay in the match, making six saves – including a late one on Baker in the 85th minute. Ben Berg had two saves to record his sixth win of the season.
After the tournament, which Princeton won via its two victories, Penn had two players named All-Tournament. Joining Baker on the All-Tournament team was defender Thomas Brandt.
Penn returns to the field Oct. 2 at Cornell as the Quakers open up Ivy League play. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.