PHILADELPHIA – For the second match in a row, an ejection to a Penn player caused the Quakers to attempt a comeback down a man and the Quakers were not able to mount a rally in a 2-0 loss to Florida International on Sunday.
Midfielder Alex Murphy was sent off via a straight red card in the 60’, putting Penn in a 10v11 situation for the second consecutive contest. At the time of the ejection, the Quakers were trailing, 1-0, and hunting the tying goal. Shortly after, the Quakers put together their best chances of the match, but were not able to solve FIU keeper Lawrence Craggs.
Less than a minute after Murphy was booked, Sam Hayward created space down the left flank and stepped to the middle, uncorking a high riser which had just too much air under it and sailed over the crossbar. Nine minutes later, Matt Poplawski was just wide on a header in the penalty area, unable to square the match. In the 71’, Alec Neumann picked off a clearing pass from Craggs and broke in alone. He last touch before shooting was a tad too much and the ball slipped away into the arms of a sliding Craggs before Neumann could fire.
Penn’s best chance came in the 75’ as Louis Schott worked space just outside the 18 and turned into a shot which was targeted for the upper right corner. However, Craggs leaped into the shot and just got a glove on it to direct the ball wide rather than level the match.
The Red and Blue continued to press, looking to find the tying goal despite the unsavory circumstances of the personnel situation. The aggressiveness was turned against them, though, when FIU added an insurance marker in the 79’ off a Quentin Albrecht goal. The finish was easy for Albrecht, as he was the beneficiary of solid connections from Marvin Hezel to Ismael Longo who lobbed a pass over Penn’s back line to send Albrecht in alone.
That goal made a FIU goal in the middle portion of the first half stand up. After the Panthers denied Neumann on Penn’s first chance of the match in the 4’, FIU carried the offensive chances with the match’s next four shots. The fourth offering found the back of the goal from Luis’ Betancur’s foot. He brought down a cross from Gonzalo Frechilla at the 18, and quickly shot it by Tyler Kinn before he could react.
Kinn was busy throughout the match, setting a new career high with seven saves – including six in the second half as the Quakers faced a manpower disadvantage. For the match, Penn was outshot, 19-7, by FIU.
The Quakers will return to Rhodes Field again on Oct. 2 for the University City Derby against Drexel at 7 p.m.