PHILADELPHIA - A flurry of second-half looks on both sides ended with Penn on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision in a University City showdown with Drexel on Wednesday.
The two sides combined for 18 shots in the second half, but it was Ken Tribbett's low ball to the far left post in the 85th minute which broke a tightly-contested deadlock in Drexel's favor. Penn had taken eight shots in the second half, coming very close to finding the winning goal twice in tight situations just before Tribbett was able to take a Brandon Zeller pass and use open space to score the winner.
Duke Lacroix had a game-high five shots for Penn, four of them reaching goal, but his last shot on a pretty run down the right side was denied by Drexel keeper Tim Washam in the 82nd minute. Moments later, Nicky Yin had a second good look to break the tie for Penn, getting to a second chance on a Quaker corner, but his low liner was stopped by Washam.
Drexel opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Nathan Page one-touching in a low cross from John Boswell. Drexel's midfielder had burst down the left side and he fed a low pass to Page who went to the near post for the score.
Multiple times early in the season, Penn had been victimized by quick counter strikes from opponents after a goal. This time, it was Penn that answered in short time, Travis Cantrell scoring his fourth goal of the season just 2:09 after Drexel had taken the lead. Cantrell got all of his offering from 40 yards out, booming a ball top right corner after a short pass from Bryan Yasukochi along the near sideline.
The most dangerous chance of the early stages of the second half came off a Stephen Baker run down the right side in the 61st minute. Mariano Gonzalez-Guerineau sent him down the near side, Baker getting first to the ball, but his cross to Louis Schott led to just a blocked shot. Drexel countered down the field to earn a corner, but the entry was rendered a bouncer unable to find a foot as the score remained deadlocked at 1-1.
The blocked shot seemed to spur the Dragons, as Drexel forced two corners in succession, causing Penn to defend twice in 34 seconds before the Quakers could send the ball away. Drexel regrouped for a third quick look, Guido Pena sending a low curler which forced Kurtzman to dive out and make his third save of the match.
With just under nine minutes to play, Penn had a chance to take advantage of a break on the defensive end after Nicky Yin made a tackle on the outer edge of the penalty area to send Penn downfield. Schott broke Lacroix in 1v1, but Lacroix's curler was denied by Tim Washam on a lunging stop. Minutes later, Nicky Yin came close to giving Penn the lead with a low curler on a second-chance look following a Penn corner, but again Washam was there to deny.
The Quakers (2-7-0) delve into Ivy League play for the first time this season on Saturday, heading to Ithaca for a match with undefeated Cornell at 7 p.m.