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ITHACA - Louis Schott gave Penn an early lead in its Ivy League opener at undefeated Cornell on Saturday night, but the nation's hottest team stormed back with three first-half goals of its own en route to a 3-2 loss for Penn on the road.
Schott struck in the 12th minute, connecting on Penn's first shot of the game for his second goal of the season. Schott found space on the left side of the box, beating Rick Pflasterer for the goal to give Penn an early lead.
Austin Kinn just missed for Penn two minutes later with a header, and Stephen Baker had his first shot of the game saved by Pflasterer in the 20th minute, denying Penn a chance to double its lead. The Big Red charged to the lead with three goals in 6:48 of game play, taking a 3-1 lead into halftime. Conor Goepel started the run, putting a Stephen Relsert cross into the top corner in the 33rd minute. 2:48 later, the country's leading scorer got on the board as Daniel Haber scored his 14th goal of the season with a header off a rebound from a Tyler Regan shot. Four minutes after Cornell took the lead, it doubled the advantage with Relsert adding a goal with assists to Haber and Regan.
The Quakers held tight in the opening portion of the second half, avoiding digging a deeper hole despite four early shots from the Big Red. Tyler Kinn made a save on Haber in the 61st minute, and the Penn defense subsequently denied a pair of Cornell corners, enabling Penn to transition to offense. Travis Cantrell made the defensive work pay off with his fifth goal of the season off an assist from Stephen Baker. As he did on Wednesday at Drexel, Cantrell unleashed a long offering to goal, and the ball took a fortuitous bounce off a Cornell defender's head and then the crossbar before crossing the line to bring Penn within one goal.
Baker had a chance to tie in the 66th minute, his offering blocked by the Cornell defense. The Big Red maintained possession on the Penn defensive side after Baker's shot, taking the next four shots - none reaching goal. In the 87th minute, Penn had a corner kick with a chance to tie, but was unable to get a shot on goal and Cornell ran out the clock.
The Quakers are now 2-8-0 in 2012 while Cornell improves to 9-0-0. Penn capitalized on the few true chances it had in the game, scoring twice on just four shots on goal. Tyler Kinn made five saves in goal for the Quakers, and limited Cornell to zero goals on restarts despite 13 corner kicks for the Big Red.
Penn returns home after five matches away from Rhodes Field on Oct. 6 against Columbia at 7 p.m.