PHILADELPHIA --The University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team found itself trailing to Rutgers, 1-0, and a second half comeback attempt fell short in a 2-0 loss to the Scarlet Knights.
Penn conceded the game's first goal in the 19th minute on a set piece. Drew Morgan found himself open and got to a Mitch Lurie service first, sending the match's first score to the top corner.
That goal woke up the Quakers a bit, as the match evened out during the remainder of the first half and well into the second. The corner kick which led to the Scarlet Knight's goal to open the match was the fifth of the opening 19 minutes, and led to a 5-0 edge in corners for Rutgers in the opening frame. Rutgers also had a 10-4 advantage in shots in the first half.
Penn's best chance to equalize in the first half came off the boot of Alec Neumann. He took an Austin Kuhn pass -- a well-struck through ball passed three Rutgers defenders -- and sent a shot with pace to the right post. The shot was just wide, beating the keeper but also coming in two feet wide.
The Quakers changed keepers at the start of the second half, Etan Mabourakh coming on to replace Max Polkinhorne. Mabourakh was tested in his first ten minutes, diving to his right to deny a Rutgers rebound chance.
Moments later, Penn found a chance in transition. Luka Martinovic sent a pass to Austin Kuhn, who connected to a bursting Erumuse Momoh. The shot was punched away by the Rutgers keeper, and Kuhn was denied a subsequent header.
Mabourakh was again in the right spot for Penn in the 70th minute, lunging to his right to save a free kick off the foot of Erik Sa from 25 yards out.
The insurance goal for Rutgers came in the final minute as strike Jason Wright found himself 1v1 on Mabourakh. Wright dribbled around Mabourakh and slid in his 10th goal of the season with 0:52 to play. Less than a minute earlier, Mabourakh had stoned Wright on a similar point-blank opportunity.
The Quakers will return to Rhodes Field on Saturday, hosting Ivy League-leading Dartmouth at 7:30 on the Ivy League Digital Network.