Men's Soccer Focused on Yale Saturday

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PHILADELPHIA – The lone remaining Ivy League team yet to concede a goal in Ancient Eight play, Penn (5-6-1, 2-0-1 Ivy) hosts Yale (3-8-1, 2-0-1) in a battle of teams tied for first place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Rhodes Field.

The Quakers and Bulldogs are two of three teams knotted at seven points three matches into the Ivy season, joined by Princeton. A fourth team, Harvard, is one point back. As Penn and Yale warm up for their match, the Tigers and Crimson should just about be settling things in Cambridge as matters begin to settle themselves out in the Ivy League standings as the conference season crosses the midway point.

The Quakers have outscored their opponents, 4-0, in Ivy matches this season and sit as just one of four teams across all of NCAA Division I soccer to not allow a goal in conference play this season (Denver, Missouri State, Western Michigan.) Dating back to the Harvard match to close out the 2012 season, Penn has not conceded a goal in 377:58 of Ivy League play.

The Red and Blue have been at their best at home this season, with a 5-3-0 record and a 2-0-0 mark in home Ivy matches. Of the five shutouts recorded by the Quakers in 2013, four have come in University City, including the last two matches at Rhodes Field. In home matches this season, Penn is outscoring its opponents, 16-10.

Tyler Kinn has started the last two matches, recording shutouts in each. He has dropped his goals-against average for the season down to 1.47, while increasing his save percentage up to .758. Kinn’s 4.70 saves-per-game are 42nd among all Division I keepers.

As a team, Penn has scored the most goals among all Ivy teams with 20 through 12 games. Penn’s four goals during Ivy play are tied for second in the League. Duke Lacroix paces the Quakers, with six goals and 14 points – both good for second in the Ivy League. Lacroix, the reigning Ivy League, ECAC and Philadelphia Soccer Six Player of the Week, scored twice last week as Penn defeated Dartmouth, 3-0. A pair of freshmen, Sam Hayward (four goals) and Alec Neumann (three goals) is also in the top ten of Ivy League goal scorers. Hayward leads all Ivy rookies with his four goals, while Neumann is tops among Ivy freshmen in total points with nine off his three goals and three assists.

Saturday marks the 99th all-time meeting between Penn and Yale in men’s soccer. The Quakers have a 48-42-8 advantage in the all-time series, with a 5-4-1 edge in the last ten meetings. Yale has won the last two contests between the two sides, both by a score of 2-1.

The Quakers will be looking to add to a four-match unbeaten streak, tied for the longest by a Penn club since Sept. 16-25, 2011. In terms of Ivy League matches, Penn is also unbeaten over its last four matches dating back to the win over Harvard to close the 2012 season. The last time Penn went unbeaten over four Ancient Eight matches was Oct. 2-23, 2010. A win or draw on Saturday will give Penn its longest unbeaten streak in Ivy League play since a six-match unbeaten streak (4-0-2) since the 2008-09 seasons.

Yale has rebounded after a 1-6-0 start to the season with a 2-2-1 record over its last five matches. On the road this season, Yale is 1-5-0 – its lone road win a 4-1 victory at Sacred Heart on Sept. 10.

The Bulldogs have scored 11 goals over 12 matches this season, with 36% of those goals coming in the win at Sacred Heart. Since then, Yale has scored in just five of 10 games, going for more than one goal just twice. Seven of Yale’s matches have involved at least one team getting shutout – Yale has been blanked six times, including its last two matches. Since scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Dartmouth on Oct. 12, the Bulldogs have gone 200 minutes without a goal.

Penn and Yale have five common opponents to this point in 2013, with Sacred Heart, Cal Poly and UC-Santa Barbara joining regular Ivy foes Cornell and Dartmouth. Penn is 3-2-0 against those opponents, Yale is 2-2-1.

Goalkeeper Blake Brown is fourth in the Ivy League with a 1.18 goals against average. Brown has not allowed a goal in his last 216:54 of action dating back to the Harvard game on Oct. 5.

Senior Peter Jacobson leads Yale with four goals and an assist for nine points. He is 1-for-1 on penalty kicks and has a game-winning goal this season. Freshman Cameron Kirdzik has three goals, including the game-winner over Dartmouth in the second overtime.