PHILADELPHIA - On a frigid night that saw the University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team dominate the run of play, control time of possession and maintain an advantage in shots and corner kicks, the Quakers were unable to find the back of the net and eventually fell 1-0 to the visiting West Virginia Mountaineers.
Penn (4-5-5, 2-2 Ivy) put together a solid overall performance but were hit by a 52nd minute goal from Felix Angerer that eventually proved enough to drop the Red and Blue at Rhodes Field.
How it Happened
The Quakers shot out of the gates with high energy, using solid passes and high tempo plays to put the Mountaineers on the defensive. The first shot of the night from Erumuse Momoh forced WVU's Jose Santos to make a strong save at net, which set the tone for the rest of the game. The visitors would retaliate with two straight corner kicks and eventually a shot on goal from Griffin Libhart that was corralled by Etan Mabourakh.
Penn upped the offensive intensity around the 30-minute mark on shots from Dami Omitaomu and a Nigel Blackwood strike off a corner kick from Joe Swenson. The Quakers added two more corner kicks before the break, before WVU tallied one final chance on goal on a header with just seconds left that was collected again by the sophomore Mabourakh.
After the break, both teams settled into a back-and-forth midfield game, but WVU took advantage of a set play from their own defensive half of the field, advancing the ball quickly. Steven James sent a long ball into the box on the foot of Angerer, who maintained possession of the bouncing ball while also sealing off his defender. Angerer angled into the far side of the box and eventually finished strong past a diving Mabourakh to give the Mountaineers the 1-0 lead.
After falling behind, Penn began to use substitutions, adding Brandon Bartel, Marc Kaizi-Lutu and Sam Hefter into the mix offensively. The leading goal scorer for the Quakers, Alec Neumann sent his first shot of the night in the 67th minute, a header that sailed just wide left.
While the Red and Blue stifled the WVU offense after giving up a goal to Angerer, the only shot of the period for the visitors would prove to be the ultimate difference maker. Penn was able to create a handful of offensive opportunities in the waning minutes, including a shot on goal from Hefter, but the Quakers would end the game empty handed against the Mountaineers.
Inside the Numbers
Penn falls to 1-2 all-time against West Virginia, with all three meetings taking place within the past three seasons. Both teams have notched wins on each other's home turf.
The Quakers finished the contest with a total of 10 shots (five in each half), spread almost equally across the team. Neumann's two shots within a span of five minutes led the way, but eight different players each recorded a chance at net for Penn in addition.
Tuesday's match was one of the most cleanly played contests all season, with each team recording only three fouls apiece.
Mabourakh played all 90 minutes in goal for the Quakers, recording two saves on the evening.
With non-conference play in the rearview mirror, Penn turns its sole focus onto the remainder of Ivy League play, beginning on Saturday against Brown. The Quakers are set to host the Bears at Rhodes Field as part of a double-header with the women's soccer team at 7:30 p.m.