PHILADELPHIAThe University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team fell to in-state rival Lehigh, 2-0, inits season opener Monday. Playing in Bethlehem, Pa.,the Quakersdropped to 0-1 on the season while the Mountain Hawks improved to 2-1.
“The first game is always a challenge and unfortunately, I think we played like a team that has only been in camp eight days,” said head coach Rudy Fuller. “There were a lot of things going on in the game that we need to take a hard look at and try to improve going into the weekend against Hartwick and Marist.”
In the first half, Lehigh slotted its first goal in the 25th minute while Penn was unable to get a good look at the goal and managed just three shots in the period.
After the break, the Quakers looked more cohesive, but were still stymied in the attacking zone with only three more shots. The Mountain Hawks tacked on their insurance goal at 69:47.
“I think we were better as the game wore on,” said Fuller. “In the second half we were able to move the ball quickly and keep them on the run and create a few more chances.”
Senior goalkeeper and newly-appointed team captain Dan Cepero made three saves in the game, while Lehigh’s Jim Morahan gathered two and the shutout.
The Quakers will be in actionthis weekendat the Mayor’s Cup, beinghosted by Hartwick in Oneonta, N.Y. After playing the host onFriday, Penn will match up against Marist on Sunday. Both Hartwick and Marist were 2005 NCAACollege Cupqualifiers.