Penn 2, Saint Joseph's 0 (Box Score)
PHILADELPHIA - As season openers go, the Penn men's soccer team put forth an intriguing effort across town at Saint Joseph's, dominating in most statistical categories en route to a 2-0 win.
The Quakers had a decided advantage in shots, out-attacking the Hawks by a 23-8 margin. In tight, the Red and Blue forced Saint Joseph's into dumping the ball away, earning five corners to SJU's 1.
Still, the game never truly felt completely in the hands of the Quakers until a late goal provided much-needed insurance in the 82nd minute.
That goal came off the foot of junior Christian Barreiro, who has picked up right where he left off last season. The team-leader with 15 points on six goals in 2009, Barreiro provided separation on the scoreboard with a run down the left side late, capped by a nifty strike just past the hands of a diving keeper. The play, started with some passing from senior midfielder Jason Gorskie, was a much-deserved reward for a player who was very active all over the field all evening.
Most of that activity came in sending balls the way of freshman Stephen Baker. The rookie forward took a game-high 10 shots, landing four on goal. In the 40th minute, he juggled a ball at the top of the box and unleashed a shot that went up and over the goalie's head to open the scoring for Penn in the 2010 campaign. Even though he did register his first collegiate goal, Baker was a few inches away from adding at least one more, beating everything in his path - except the crossbar - midway through the second half.
A connection on that attempt would have helped head coach Rudy Fuller and the Quakers feel much better about their situation after Saint Joseph's came out of the break strong. After mustering just two shots in the first 45 minutes, the Hawks sent six Ben Berg's way in the second half - most coming in an opening stretch where the field seemed tilted a bit in favor of the hosts.
Berg was ready when called upon, finishing with two saves and numerous clears on throw-ins and free kicks for his fifth career shutout. He was especially busy on restarts following fouls, of which Penn had 20 to SJU's 15.
The defense as a whole was prepared for set pieces, with Zach Barnett, Thomas Brandt, Jake Levin, and company marking their assignments all evening and sending offense the other way when able.
The Quakers are back in action on Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. for the 2010 home opener against La Salle at Rhodes Field.
Download: Penn SJU Box.pdf