PHILADELPHIA - Penn completed its run through the Philadelphia Soccer Six with a convincing win at Villanova on Sunday, downing the Wildcats, 2-1, to improve to 3-2-1 overall and 3-0-0 inside the PS6.
"A very comprehensive win for our side this afternoon," head coach Rudy Fuller said. "Overall, this was our best performance as a group and it was great to see everyone respond after the match on Friday and take control early."
The first two goals of the match were redemption of sorts for Stephen Baker, as the sophomore found twine twice after a snakebitten affair on Friday at Rhodes Field.
All throughout the second half on Friday night in Penn's 1-1 tie with Georgetown, the coaching staff kept sending positive reinforcement Baker's way as he sent nine shots towards goal and came very close to providing Penn with a late win. Those positive vibes carried over to Sunday's opening half as Baker scored twice to provide the Red and Blue with a 2-0 lead at the break.
His first goal came as he finished off a crossing play in the box, a one-timer to give Penn the lead in the 16th minute. The assist on the goal went to Duke Lacroix as the freshmen sent in the pass that Baker hammered home -- Lacroix's first career assist. In the 26th minute, Baker scored again, finding space in close and going high for his second of the day. The scoring play was the definition of a combo play, with Baker the benificiary of a nice set up from Christian Barreiro and Travis Cantrell.
In the second half, Penn had a few looks to add to its lead, with good offerings from Baker and Christian Barreiro that were inches wide. Villanova closed to within one late in the match on a goal from Emerson Lawrence on a penalty kick in the 86th minute following a foul and yellow card to Jake Levin in the box. Lawrence scored on his penalty, but ended up hurting his team by standing over Max Kurtzman and taunting after the score and earning himself a red card after he was issued his second yellow of the match. The Wildcats were forced to play the final few minutes of the match a man down and could not generate any offense.
Penn, which improved to 3-2-1 overall, had a slight edge in shots, 21-19, in the match. Kurtzman, who went 85 full minutes without allowing a goal in the match, made four saves for his third career win.