PRINCETON, N.J. - Playing Columbia for the second time this season, the University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team was unable to scratch the scoreboard against the Lions before eventually falling 3-0 in the season finale played at Princeton's Roberts Stadium.
Penn finishes its season with an overall record of 5-6-6, including a 3-3-1 mark in the Ivy League.
How it Happened
Similar to the last time the two squads met in Philadelphia, Columbia's blueprint for controlling time of possession went into effect early, as the Lions used solid passing in the midfield to keep the ball away from the Quakers. Francisco Agrest notched the first shot of the game for Columbia, forcing a save from Etan Mabourakh in between the pipes. Penn's first shot would come from junior Sam Wancowicz in the 11th minute, who tested out the skills of the Lion goalkeeper on a shot outside the box. Just minutes later, Agrest would find the back of the net on a feed from Rhys Williams that left the sophomore angled directly in front of the goal to give Columbia the early 1-0 lead.
As they have all season long, the Quakers showed resiliency after falling behind, pushing tempo and forcing the issue to try and equalize the match. Alec Neumann sailed his first chance of the night high on a header off a Gavin Barger corner kick in the 20th minute that nearly did the trick for the Red and Blue. Columbia would only generate one additional shot in the opening period, from Arthur Bosua, while Neumann and Barger each threatened for Penn before the clock hit zero and the teams went to break.
Both offenses came out firing to start the second half, as each team featured several chances on goal in the opening minutes. Three straight corner kicks from Columbia would test Mabourakh, but he and the Penn defense were able to hold steady. The Lions would find the breakthrough that they sought however in the 65th minute, as the Quakers would be called for a foul within the box, setting up Columbia penalty kick that Zach Morant would fire home to make the score 2-0.
Neumann again would have a solid chance to cut into the laed for Penn, but another save from Columbia would prevent that from happening. Freshman Sam Hefter nearly cut the Lion lead in half in the 81st minute on a strong shot on goal, but the counter attack for Columbia proved deadly, as Kynan Rocks sent in a shot that deflected off of Mabourakh and onto the foot of Bosua who put the finishing touches on the 3-0 win.
Inside the Numbers
Senior captain Neumann finishes his career for the Red and Blue having played in 67 matches, fourth-most in Quaker history, and totaled 59 points on 24 goals and 11 assists during his career. His point total ranks sixth in the program record books. This year, Neumann netted nine goals which currently ranks second in the Ancient Eight.
Senior captain Matt Poplawski wraps up his career at Penn having played in 57 contests, amassing 17 points on six goals (four this season) and five assists.
Mabourakh's nine saves mark a season-high and are just one shy of his career-high of 10 set last seaosn.
Penn's six draws on the year broke a program record and currently sit in a tie for the most by any team in the NCAA.