PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team returns home to the comforts of Rhodes Field on Saturday, September 17th for a Big 5 matchup against the visiting La Salle Explorers. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. and will serve as the Red and Blue’s first home match since their season-opener.
The Quakers (0-1-3) will see a friendly face on the Explorer sidelines and the contest marks a homecoming of sorts for La Salle head coach Rob Irvine, who served as an assistant coach for the Quakers from 2006-14 and helped the Red and Blue to three NCAA Tournament appearances. 2016 marks Irvine’s first year at the helm of the Explorers (5-1-0).
Additionally, the contest will serve as a Junior Quaker Reunion as well as a fundraiser for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
The Series with La Salle
Saturday’s match marks the 40th meeting between the two schools with Penn holding the advantage in the all-time series at 28-3-8. It will mark the first time the sides have met since 2011 when the Quakers came away with a 2-0 win on La Salle’s home turf.
About La Salle
The Explorers come into the contest with a 5-1 record and are currently riding a three game win streak following victories over Saint Peter’s (W, 4-3 OT), Manhattan (W, 3-0) and James Madison (W, 1-0). Their lone loss on the year comes via a 3-0 defeat at home against Rider. The Explorers have outscored their opponents by a 10-6 margin through six games and are led offensively by Matt Robinson’s two goals and five assists. On the defensive end, Mike Kirk has played every minute between the posts and has registered a .727 save percentage and a 0.99 goals against average.
Get to Know the Quakers
*Four different players have scored so far for the Quakers – Aramis Kouzine, Alec Neumann, Matt Poplawski and Sam Wancowicz and. A defender by trade, Wancowicz has been sticking his nose into proceedings at both ends of the field as he leads the team with seven shots through four matches.
*The Red and Blue have showed depth already this season, with 19 field players having seen minutes – led by Etan Mabourakh and Nigel Blackwood who are the only two field players to see all 420 minutes. Five freshmen have made their collegiate debuts, including Dami Omitaomu who has started four matches at wide forward.
*In goal, Etan Mabourakh has started and played every minute of the first four matches of 2016. He has made 20 saves – posting a .714 save percentage – and has a GAA of 1.71.
*The Red and Blue have shown a bit of a resurgence offensively through the first four games of 2016, netting five goals over their first four games. Last year, Penn needed scored just one goal over its first six games as the Quakers struggled to an 0-5-1 start.
*The Quakers cast a wide footprint with national and international recruits on their 24-man roster which includes 10 states and one foreign nation (England).