PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Brown men’s soccer team entered Saturday night’s match with Penn ranked sixth in the country, and the Bears were every bit of that in handling the Quakers, 3-0, at Stevenson Field.
Brown (11-1-1, 3-0-0 Ivy) outshot the Quakers, 20-8, and got goals from three different players in winning its fifth straight match.
It was an ominous beginning for the Quakers, as Brown was thoroughly dominant the first 10 minutes. The Bears were buzzing the Penn goal, but could not create any shots from their many opportunities. By halftime, however, Brown held a 12-5 advantage in shots.
Penn (5-7-2, 2-2-0 Ivy) settled down as time went by, and actually created the best opportunity of the first 40 minutes when Kevin Unger got behind the defense on a free kick but one-touched the ball well over the goal from just six yards out.
Brown finally struck late in the first half, when T.J. Thompson got the ball along the left side and found Darren Howerton in stride about 12 yards in front of the goal. Howertown quickly pushed a left-footed shot along the ground past Healy’s right side, tucked inside the near corner.
The Bears seemed to gather momentum from that goal, and created a few more opportunities before the break. The best chance came in the final minute, when Jon Okafor fired a 30-yard laser that got past Healy but was off target.
The match picked up in intensity as the second half progressed, and just past the hour Brown struck again to take a 2-0 lead. Dylan Sheehan attacked from the left side, and slid a ball across the middle. Three players converged upon the ball at the top of the box, and Brown’s Lauren Manuel was first to it as he pushed a left-footed effort past a helpless Healy.
Penn had a spectacular chance to cut into the lead with about 16 minutes left, when Omid Shokoufandeh hit a streaking Derek Hobson right in front of the Brown goal. However, Hobson’s attempt to push it into the far post was deflected by Bears goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand. The ball cut across the goalmouth out to the right sideline, and John Elicker’s shot from about 25 yards out was well wide and high of the mark.
Alex Grendi tested Grandstrand two minutes later on a shot from about 25 yards out. The shot burned the ground, and Grandstrand did well to get low and push it wide of the left post.
However, with 11 minutes left, Brown effectively ended the match with its third goal. Off a counterattack, the Bears’ T. J. Thompson calmly kept the ball and drew two Penn defenders at the top of the box. Kevin Davies ran by him, took a back-heel pass into space, and pushed it over an oncoming Healy for his eighth goal of the season.
Penn is back in action next weekend, taking on Princeton at Rhodes Field in the first half of a soccer doubleheader (the Penn and Princeton women will follow at 7:30 p.m.)