PHILADELPHIA - Ask anyone why they enjoy watching soccer - or any sport for that matter - and you are likely to get as many different answers as people surveyed. That is the beauty of sports, there is certainly something for everyone. Friday night's men's soccer match for Penn against Georgetown certainly falls under that category. It had everything ... everything, that is, except a winner.
In a match which featured 37 combined shots, 17 combined saves, 39 combined fouls called and seven combine cards issued (including one red) it was the eventful final 35 minutes which gave the crowd a lot to talk about on its ride home.
An undermanned Penn team - playing 10 against 11 following a red card issued in the 75th minute - came back on Georgetown with a penalty kick goal in the 81st minute to knot the match at 1-1 and head back up campus with that tie following an eventful 20 minutes of extra time.
Christian Barreiro has made a habit of scoring big goals and scoring on penalty kicks in his Penn career. On Friday night, he did both on one kick, making Georgetown pay for a handball in the box in the 81st minute to tie the match. It was Barreiro's second score of the season - the other; you guessed it, a penalty kick in the opener at La Salle - and his fifth career penalty kick goal.
Barreiro's goal came just under six minutes after Georgetown had taken the lead on an Andy Riemer goal. The Hoyas, less than 30 seconds into their man advantage following the straight red issued to Alex Reddy in the 74th minute, initiated a two-on-one deep on the right side and Riemer one-timed a pass from Austin Martz just inside the post and beyond the quick dive from Max Kurtzman.
The red card to Reddy came on a tackle just outside the center circle on Georgetown's side of the field and joined six yellow cards in the scorebook in what was a busy night for cautions. The yellows were split evenly, three a side, with the 39 fouls called during a typically-physical East Coast match pretty much even with three more on the side of the Hoyas than Penn.
Barreiro's penalty kick was part of a furious response by Penn in the final 35 minutes of play. Overall, Penn outshot Georgetown by a 25-12 margin but the true measure of the chasm in shot attempts is shown by the 22-8 edge Penn held over the second half and overtime. In fact, from the time of Reddy's red card until the final whistle to end the match, Penn outshot the Hoyas, 15-4.
Many of those shots came from Stephen Baker who did everything but connect on a game-winner with nine total shots and four in the final 35 minutes of play. In the first overtime, he came as close as anyone in extra time to finishing the affair, sending a shot over Keon Parsa's head, but also inches over the top left corner. Parsa was key to keeping Georgetown with the one point, making 13 total saves and six in overtime.
Jake Levin, Thomas Brandt and Nick Unger did a good job in the defensive third keeping Georgetown's leading scorer, Steve Neumann, to seven shots - but just two on goal during the match. Neumann's two shots on goal were part of Max Kurtzman's four saves on the night. One of his saves came in the 109th minute, preserving the tie match.
The Quakers, who are now 2-2-1, will finish the Ivy League/BIG EAST Classic on Sunday at Philadelphia rival Villanova (4 p.m.) while the Hoyas (3-1-2) will host Princeton. The Tigers defeated 'Nova, 2-1, in double overtime in their match Friday night.