PHILADELPHIA - Penn's Loukas Tasigianis scored once exremely early and again extremely late, and that was the difference as the Quakers defeated Yale, 2-1, in overtime in men's soccer action Saturday night at Rhodes Field.
With the win, Penn improved to 5-6-2 overall, 2-1-0 in the Ivy League. Yale fell to 2-5-4, 0-1-2.
In the Ivies, every game counts in the quest for the League title and the autobid to the NCAA tournament that comes with it. Pennstarted the game playing with that in mind. The team’s intensity showed and paid off with a goal just 25 seconds into the match. Penn stole the ball in the midfield and sent it to junior Andrew Ferry in the box. He flicked it to Tasigianis who tapped it in for his third goal of the season.
That same intensity started to give the Quakers some problems as they struggled to put a unified front together. Yale capitalized on a scrum in the box at 25:49 and then nearly did again moments later, but senior defender Keith Vereb saved it off the line.
The Bulldogs’ momentum was short-lived, however, as the Red and Blue regained control heading into halftime. The next 55:00 minutes were scoreless as both teams struggled to find the back of the net. Penn had more chances, out-shooting the Elis 6-3 in the second and 4-0 in the first overtime.
Two of those overtime shots were off the foot of Tasigianis who narrowly missed the goal both times. Junior Kevin Unger and Omid Shokoufandeh also saw their shots blocked by a determined Yale defense.
Tasigianis finally broke though, 45 seconds into the second overtime, giving Penn its first overtime win of the season and the newcomer's first collegiate game-winner.
Penn kept its backline fresh by rotating Vereb, Jeffrey Livingston, John Elicker, Ryan Porch and Lee Rubenstein, all of whom made smart choices and only allowed Yale to put one shot on goal in the second half and overtimes.
The one shot that did make it through, junior keeper Drew Healy snatched up. On the other end, Yale’s Erik Geiger made three saves.
The Quakers continue in the Ivy League on the road at Brown, Oct. 27. The Bears are ranked eighth in the nation with a 10-1-1 overall record and an undefeated 3-0-0 in the Ivies. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. in Providence, R.I.