FAIRFAX, Va.--Playing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the No. 20 Penn men's soccer team fell 1-0 to George Mason Friday night. The decision ended the Quakers' season at 11-3-4 while the Patriots advanced to face No. 2-seeded Maryland in the second round.
The Quakers battled through the first half, creating several opportunities. An interesting turn occurred with 17 minutes to play in the first half, when Mason was called for a hand ball in the box and Penn was awarded a penalty kick. Senior Omid Shokoufandeh lined up for the kick, but was denied by Mason's keeper Sean Kelley. Less than five minutes later, Penn was called on a hand ball in the box. The PK for Mason was taken by Irvin Martinez. Penn keeper Drew Healy read the kick perfectly and made the save.
Despite all the action, the teams parted for the half with a scoreless tie. The stalemate was broken just 1:45 into the second period when Eber Martinez belted a shot from 25 yards out to the upper left corner, putting the Patriots up one.
The remaining minutes produced several chances for both teams, including several for Penn in the waning minutes. Shokoufandeh, Kevin Unger and Mike Klein all put shots on goal in the final two minutes, but it was not to be as the clock expired.
The loss ended the Quakers’ 2008 season that saw Penn start the season on a seven-game shutout streak and go 10 games unbeaten. After a 5-1-1 Ivy League season, the Red and Blue took a share of the Ivy League title and its first NCAA bid since 2002.