PHILADELPHIA – After 45 minutes of action at Rhodes Field, the University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team held a 1-0 lead over visiting Columbia, but a two-goal surge from the Lions in a span of eight minutes midway through the second half propelled Columbia past Penn, 2-1.
The match was typical for an Ivy League contest, one played at a physical level demanding of a League battle. Add in a slick field following a night of rain in Philadelphia, and both sides were hotly contesting each loose ball. At the end of the match, seven yellow cards and a red card had been issued with a combined 28 fouls called.
Penn struck first in the match, Duke Lacroix connecting at exactly the 20-minute mark for his sixth goal of the season. He was sprung at the 18, finding an Alec Neumann flick of a Forrest Clancy pass to beat goalkeeper Kyle Jackson 1v1.
Lacroix looked to have a chance to add a second goal just minutes later, breaking in at an angle down the right side. A Columbia defender met him just into the penalty area and made a last-ditch effort to separate the ball from Lacroix. The slide tackle was deemed to get all ball and no penalty was awarded, keeping the score 1-0 in favor of the Red and Blue.
In the 39th minute, Lacroix burst in towards goal again, getting his third quality chance of the match. He offered to the right side of cage, missing the target by a matter of inches, and Penn took just a one goal lead to halftime.
In the second period, Columbia changed up its shape, moving to a 4-4-2 and immediately started finding opportunities. The equalizer came in the 61st minute off the head of Rhys Williams who knocked in a Francisco Agrest service from deep down the left side.
The tying goal came moments after Penn had earned three consecutive corners, twice setting up Alec Neumann and Matt Poplawski who had chances at an insurance marker denied by Jackson.
Just 8:23 after tying the game, Columbia would take the lead on a Frederick Elliot goal. He was in alone on Max Polkinhorne following a flicked pass from Arthur Bosua.
In the 75th minute, Neumann had Penn’s best chance at leveling the match, but his free kick from 25 yards our sailed just high.
Penn’s attempt at a comeback was halted in the 85th minute when Jason deFaria was issued a red card for a tackle on a Columbia player who was moving in alone on the keeper. The sequence started when Penn misplayed a back pass, looking to reset its attack. The mishit forced deFaria into a no-win situation, and his tackle denied the scoring chance and gave Penn five minutes of play to still hunt a goal to force overtime.
The goal never came, and the Quakers dropped to 5-5-0 overall and 1-1-0 in Ivy play. The Lions are now 4-5-0 and also at 1-1-0 in the Ancient Eight.
The Quakers head to Rutgers on October 14 for their next match. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.