PHILADELPHIA – As far as career debuts go, Austin Kuhn and Levi Levenfiche will surely remember theirs as each scored in the second half to propel Penn to a 2-0 win over University City neighbor Drexel at Rhodes Field.
Kuhn, a freshman, and Levenfiche, a sophomore walk-on playing his first game, scored goals 5:30 apart midway through the second half to break open a game which was there for the taking.
Kuhn snuck his way to open space to the right of Drexel’s keeper in the 54’ and quickly redirected a James Rushton pass to the inside of the far post to give the Quakers a 1-0 lead. Kuhn’s strike was the first goal conceded by Drexel in 2014, ending a run of 235:27 of shutout defense for the Dragons.
Minutes later, Levenfiche corralled a ball just outside the 30y area and wound his way through Drexel’s defense. Finally free from contestation, Levenfiche stepped into a ball and boomed a shot to the upper left corner to add insurance.
The Quakers came out with heightened energy to start their season, taking the game to a Drexel team which had played on Wednesday night. The Quakers held a 5-2 shot advantage after one half, but were unable to connect on any. Penn’s best chances of the first half were a Matt Poplawski shot which was blocked and successive shots from Duke Lacroix at the 20’ mark which were denied by Tyler Afflerbach.
Junior keeper Max Polkinhorne would make the two goals stand up, recording five saves – all in the second half. He first was truly called upon just 10 seconds into the second half when Drexel went right down field off the kickoff and Michele Pataia was open on the right side. Polkinhorne would make three saves after Penn took the lead, building to his third career shutout.
Penn is back in action in quick fashion, hosting Central Connecticut State on Sunday at Rhodes Field. Kickoff is slated for 4:20 p.m.
Notes: Penn improves to 30-9-2 all-time against Drexel … Penn improves to 4-1-0 in its last five season openers … Max Polkinhorne improves to 5-0-1 in his career … Over his six career matches, Polkinhorne has posted a GAA of 0.53 and a save percentage of .927 … Both Austin Kuhn and Levi Levenfiche scored on their first career shots.