Baker's Bonanza Highlights 7-2 Win for Men's Soccer

Box Score (PDF)

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All season long, Penn knew it had a potent attacking duo in Stephen Baker and Duke Lacroix. It may have taken longer to develop than the Quakers would have liked, but the chemistry between the two has showed itself in spades the last two matches, including a 7-2 win for the Quakers over Rider on Sunday at the Princeton Invitational.

After the pair went scoreless in Penn's first four matches, the two have been on a tear of late. After both scored a goal in Friday's win, the pair combined for six goals and three assists in Penn's highest-scoring day since scoring seven against Saint Joseph's on Nov. 5, 2003 - just the second time since 1976 that Penn has scored seven goals in a single match.

Performances like Baker's have not come across too often in the annals of Penn men's soccer. The last player to score four goals in a single game while donning a Penn uniform was Sean O'Donnell against Villanova on Sept. 24, 1977. The goals give Baker 18 for his career - and extends Penn's streak of wins when Baker scores to a perfect 12-0-0 over his two-plus seasons.

Lacroix scored in the 20th minute off a pass from Baker to open the scoring - Lacroix's fourth goal in as many games. Baker worked down the left side to create space, feeding a pass into the center of the box which found a charging Lacroix for the goal.

Just under six minutes later, it was Baker's turn to score, as he got his foot on a long ball sent into the box for his second goal of the season.

Lacroix added his second goal of the day in the 33rd minute, taking advantage of a muffed kick by Rider goalkeeper Jason Giordano to extend Penn's lead to 3-0.

Baker answered his teammate with his second of the match in the 41st minute, pouncing on a loose ball after Giordano couldn't corral a through ball from Lacroix. Ethan Jones also picked up an assist on the goal for his first career point.

The Broncs got one on the board in the second half, David Benavidez connecting from in close off a Robert Kroschwitz pass in the 48th minute.

After Rider scored, Penn countered with a nice run instigated by Baker and Lacroix in the 54th minute. Both players had shots on goal, Lacroix's attempt off Baker's rebound deflecting off a hand to give Penn a penalty kick. Travis Cantrell lined up for the penalty kick, but Giordano denied him on a diving stop. Undaunted, the Quakers came back down in the 60th minute with multiple touches leading to a fifth goal. Cantrell started the play just past midfield, finding Baker and Lacroix up field. Lacroix regained the ball at the left post and fed a pass to Alex Reddy who spotted a wide open Mariano Gonzalez-Guerineau at the right corner. Gonzalez fired a low liner to the left post to give Penn a 5-1 lead.

Baker connected for his hat trick in the 65th minute, quickly depositing a pass from Lacroix. The hat trick is the second for Penn in its last nine games, following up Thomas Brandt's hat trick in the 2011 season finale at Harvard. Prior to that, Penn had not had a hat trick since Oct. 31, 1995 - a span of 270 matches. His fourth goal of the match came in the 77th minute off a pass from freshman James Rushton for Rushton's first collegiate point.

The nine combined goals in the match tie the most in a Penn match since the Quakers and Rutgers scored nine goals in a 5-4 Penn loss on Oct. 25, 2000.

Penn improves to 2-6-0 in 2012. Up next for the Quakers is a short trip up the block to neighboring Drexel on Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.

Download: Rider.pdf