Men's Soccer Blanked by Villanova, 1-0

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA -The Penn men's soccer team hit a dose of bad luck on Friday evening in its game with Villanova, and at the end of the night the Quakers were stuck with the worst luck of all -- a loss.

Villanova scored just eight minutes in, and that was enough as the Wildcats upset the No. 22 Quakers, 1-0, at Rhodes Field.

Penn was already playing without defensive stalwart Jake LevinFriday night, and then in the opening minutes Nick Unger was forced to leave the field with an injury.

Villanova's goal came at the 8:10 mark. A ball was played in from the left side by the Wildcats' Dylan Renna, and at the near post Daniel Gonzalez beat a Penn defender to the ball and slightly re-directedit so that it slipped inside the far post and past a frozen Ben Berg.

Penn tried to get the offense going, and head coach Rudy Fuller inserted senior Tobi Olopade into the lineup. Olopade did his job, raising the energy level and winning a lot of balls in the air. He also provided the Quakers with arguably their best opportunity of the game with four minutes left in the first half, when he headed a ball on goal. Villanova goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan dove to his right and was just able to get a glove on the ball, parrying it wide.

Penn also had an excellent opportunity in the opening minute of the second half, when a ball played across the goalmouth was put on goal by Loukas Tasigianis. However, Bresnahan was again equal to the task, diving to his left and smothering the shot.

That set the tone for the second stanza. Penn put seven of its nine shots on goal, but the Quakers could not beat Bresnahan who ended up with nine saves on the night. Overall, Penn outshot Villanova, 15-11, led by Stephen Baker who had four. Aaron Ross had three, while Olopade and Tasigianis had two apiece. Penn also had 10 corner kicks, compared to just two from Villanova.

In the Penn goal, Berg had two saves, one in each half.

Penn returns to action Sunday at Georgetown.

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