Box Score (PDF)
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PHILADELPHIA – Penn knew heading into the 2012 season that it had a few stalwarts to replace on the field in graduated players who had played almost every minute of their careers during their four years. What head coach Rudy Fuller and the Quakers did not expect was to also have to replace players still on the roster who were to be counted on heavily. In just the third match of the season, Penn was again without key starters for the third time as both starting central midfielders from the preseason – co-captain Travis Cantrell and sophomore Louis Schott – were out of the lineup on the first night of the Penn Soccer Classic against Air Force. The Red and Blue put together their best all-around performance of the nascent season on Friday, but just when they thought they were back in the match, Air Force escaped with a 2-1 win.
A pair of freshmen connected in the 69th minute
to tie the match for Penn as Sam Engs netted his first career goal via a header
following a shot from classmate Alex Murphy. The rookies each recorded their
first career points, finishing off a sequence started by a Duke Lacroix shot
blocked by a Falcon defender and leading to a Penn corner. Lacroix was all over the field for Penn, taking four shots and utilizing his speed to forced defenders to bad spots all night.
The ensuing Quaker corner was served nicely, forcing Air force keeper Matt Underwood to rise to try and collect the service from Forrest Clancy. Underwood was unable to corral, and Penn took two quick shots – Murphy’s denied at first but finding Engs’ head for the Penn goal.
The excitement of answering Abinadi Samayoa’s first-half goal was short lived – very short lived. Off the restart, Air Force moved down field quickly and drew a throw in by Eric Tise. His throw found Penn’s goal area and rebounded off a Penn defender to the foot of Conor Henry who quickly found the back of the net to regain Air Force’s lead just 36 seconds after Penn had squared the match.
The Quakers outshot Air Force, 14-10, but the Falcons had five shots reach goal to three for the Quakers. Penn had a considerable edge on restarts, drawing 23 Air Force fouls while committing just seven infractions.
The Quakers are now 0-3-0 in 2012, the program’s first 0-3-0 start since 2007 and suffered just their third loss in Penn Soccer Classic play over 21 matches (first since 2003). Penn has a chance to rebound quickly, hosting Hartford on Sunday at 1 p.m.