PHILADELPHIA - After a 13-6 finish in 2010 which saw the Penn men's soccer team post the second-most wins in the 106-year program history, head coach Rudy Fuller has once again lined up a challenging schedule for his club in 2011. The 17-game slate features a trip back to San Diego for the San Diego State Aztec Soccer Classic, the second installment of the Ivy League/Big East Classic and the annual Penn Soccer Classic early in the season before embarking on the always-challenging Ivy League schedule and road trips to in-state rivals.
The end goal of the 17 games is the NCAA Championships, which Penn qualified for as an at-large selection in 2010, advancing to the second round following a 1-0 win in extra time over Bucknell at Rhodes Field in the opening round. Five teams that competed in the 2010 NCAA Championships are featured on Penn's schedule, including a home game with Georgetown (Sept. 16, 7 p.m.) and a road trip to Penn State (Oct. 4, 7 p.m.) Four of the five teams who played in the national tournament in 2010 went on to win at least one game, with Dartmouth and Brown each winning twice.
"Our 2011 schedule will undoubtedly present some fantastic challenges for our team," Fuller said. "The Ivy League continues to prove that it is one of the premier soccer conferences in the country. Once again in 2010, the Ivy League put half of their teams in the NCAA Tournament. Our goal every year is to win the Ivy League championship and capture the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. If we earn that right, we hope that our NCAA Tournament experience from the past few years will help us make a deep run."
The 2011 season begins for Penn on the road, with the "road trip" taking all of 10 miles up I-76 to La Salle as the 2010 Philadelphia Soccer 6 Co-Champion Quakers take on the Explorers on Sept. 2. Two days later, the Red and Blue are home for the first time in 2011 to take on Saint Joseph's at 5:30 p.m.
The first true road trip of 2011 brings Penn across the country to California for the Aztec Soccer Classic Sept. 9-11. Up first on the 9th is San Diego before the Quakers finish up on Sept. 11 against host San Diego State. Penn played in the event during the 2009 season, with Penn earning co-champion honors after playing SDSU to a 2-2 tie and defeating San Diego, 3-2.
For the second year in a row, the Quakers will participate in the Ivy League/Big East Soccer Classic along with Princeton, Villanova and Georgetown. Penn will host the Hoyas on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. before heading to the Main Line for a date with 'Nova on Sept. 18.
Up next for Penn will be its own tournament, the Penn Soccer Classic on Sept. 23-25. The Red and Blue will host Stony Brook on the 23rd at 7 p.m. followed by Long Island coming to Rhodes Field on Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m.
The Quakers open Ivy League play at home on Oct. 1 against Cornell at 7 p.m. Penn, which finished second in the Ancient Eight in 2010 with a 5-2 record, will be home four times in League play in 2011, with additional home matches against Dartmouth (Oct, 15, 7:30 p.m.), Yale (Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.) and Princeton (Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.) The Red and Blue head on the road in pursuit of an Ivy title to Columbia (Oct. 8, 4 p.m.), Brown (Oct. 29, 7 p.m.) and Harvard (Nov. 12, 7 p.m.)
Two road games to non-conference opponents inside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will also test the Red and Blue this fall. In addition to the trip to State College Oct. 4, the Quakers will travel to Lehigh on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. to complete the non-conference portion of the schedule.
"In addition to our ever-challenging Ivy slate, we have scheduled games against teams from the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big East, WCC, Patriot League, Atlantic 10, American East, and the NEC. These games allow our team to measure themselves against some of the best teams from around the country," said Fuller, who is entering his 14th season at the helm of the Quakers and is one win away from reach 100 career victories. "Our guys enjoy these types of challenges and this year will be no different. We look forward to another successful campaign this fall."
With four All-Ivy players returning for the 2011 season, including first-team selections Thomas Brandt (also a first-team All-Region selection and Christian Barreiro (third-team All-Region) along with second-team selections Jake Levin and Stephen Baker (third-team All-Region), the Quakers have a veteran group ready to contend once again for an Ivy League title. They will be joined by a recruiting class which features three players on the U.S. Under-18 National Team and has been called a "four-star" recruiting class by CollegeSoccerNews.com.
2011 Penn Men's Soccer Schedule
Friday, Sep 02 at La Salle at Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Sunday, Sep 04 Saint Joseph's Rhodes Field 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Sep 09 vs. San Diego^ at San Diego, Calif. TBA
Sunday, Sep 11 at San Diego State^ at San Diego, Calif. TBA
Friday, Sep 16 Georgetown Rhodes Field 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sep 18 at Villanova at Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Friday, Sep 23 Stony Brook# Rhodes Field 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sep 25 Long Island# Rhodes Field 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 01 Cornell* Rhodes Field 7 p.m.
Tueday, Oct 04 at Penn State at State College, Pa. 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 08 at Columbia* at New York, N.Y. 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct 11 at Lehigh at Bethlehem, Pa. 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 15 Dartmouth* Rhodes Field 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 22 Yale* Rhodes Field 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 29 at Brown* at Providence, R.I. 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 05 Princeton* Rhodes Field 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 12 at Harvard* at Cambridge, Mass. 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 19 NCAA First Round TBA
Wednesday, Nov 23 NCAA Second Round TBA
Saturday, Nov 26 NCAA Third Round TBA
Saturday, Dec 03 NCAA Quarterfinals TBA
Friday, Dec 09 NCAA College Cup Semifinals Hoover, Ala. TBA
Sunday, Dec 11 NCAA College Cup Final Hoover, Ala. NCAA College Cup Final TBA
^ San Diego State Aztec Soccer Classic
# Penn Soccer Classic
* Ivy League Game
Home Games in
Bold and played at Rhodes Field.