Men's Soccer Draws with American in Season Opener, 2-2

PHILADELPHIA – Sam Wancowicz and Alec Neumann book-ended scoring for the evening in a hard-fought 2-2 draw for the University of Pennsylvania in what was their 2016 season opener at Rhodes Field.

On a picturesque evening in Philadelphia, the Quakers came back from a 2-1 deficit and evened the contest at 2-2 off a penalty kick in the 54th minute following a take down in the box. Neumann connected on the ensuing PK, finishing to the low right post, to tie the game with just under 36 minutes left in regulation.

Neither team would be able to find the game-winner in the subsequent overtime periods as the contest concluded at 2-2 following 110 minutes of play.

The Quakers got off to a strong start and led the first half with a 7-3 advantage in shots. In the 37th minute, Wancowicz finished a perfectly placed ball from Matt Poplawski as the Red and Blue took a 1-0 lead nearing the end of the stanza.

American was quick to respond and evened the score at 1-1 in the 42nd minute off a corner kick. Danny Kaiser’s serve found the feet of Chris Fanet for the score as the teams headed into halftime deadlocked after 45 minutes of action.

Action escalated quickly following intermission, and AU found their second goal of the contest off a breakaway to goal in the 53rd minute. Max Holdsworth fed a serve up the right flank while Joel Hart found an opening to take a 2-1 lead over the hosts.

Neumann’s penalty kick would serve as the equalizer for the match prior to the end of regulation, but both teams had chances in the waning minutes of the period. As the contest headed into overtime, neither team had optimal scoring opportunities despite a total of five corners in the final 20 minutes of action.

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Etan Mabourakh made eight stops for the Red and Blue while American’s Lucas Belanger tallied four saves. 

Penn returns to action on Monday, September 5th when they travel to Seton Hall for a Labor Day matchup. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. in South Orange, N.J. 

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