PHILADELPHIA – The beginning of the Ivy League season is often a time for a team to turn the page. For the University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team, it was Joe Swenson who found himself up on the stage in the Ancient Eight opener as the sophomore scored two goals in his first career Ivy match as Penn defeated Cornell, 2-0.
Swenson struck once in each half, connecting in the 30th and 82nd minutes as Penn won its second consecutive game and earned an important three points in the opening weekend of Ivy play.
Swenson’s first goal came off the rush, as he found space inside the six-yard area and banged in a Teddie Levenfiche pass.
In the second half, he provided Penn with some well-earned insurance as he again drove through the heart of the Big Red defense and hammered home a Luka Martinovic cross with 8:29 to play.
Nick Savino earned his second consecutive clean sheet, making two saves – both in the second half – and keeping the Big Red at bay on their four corner kicks. It was most assuredly a group effort on defense, as James Rushton, Aaron Chen and Griffin Heffner provided senior leadership to the back end, and Gavin Barger and Erumuse Momoh showed that the Quakers have some freshmen capable of stepping up when called upon.
The shutout for the Quakers extends Penn’s run of not conceding a goal to 253:16 since Penn State scored its second goal early in last week’s match. Penn now has three shutouts this season. The shutout win at home is Penn's first since a 2-0 blanking of Drexel to open the 2014 season. You have to go back to Oct. 19, 2013 against Dartmouth (3-0) for Penn's last home shutout win in Ivy League play.
The Quakers are back in action on October 10, taking on Columbia in New York City at 2 p.m.