A NOTE FROM COACH FULLER:
We have decided to cancel the Alumni game scheduled forSaturday morning at 11 a.m., due to the weather that will be arriving later tonight and staying through early afternoon tomorrow.
We will still be holding a Penn Soccer Alumni Board Meetingat 4 p.m.in the Mendelson Room of the Dunning Coaches’ Center. The pre-game reception for alumni is still on as well -- it is being held in the Rapaport Family Suite at Rhodes Field and will begin at 6 p.m.
At this time, ourmatch against Brown is still scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
I hope to see many of you in attendance.
PHILADELPHIAIn typical Ivy League fashion, the race for the title will be tight until the very end. However, Saturday’s men’s soccer action will help bring the final picture into focus. In conjunction with Penn’s Homecoming, and the seniors’ final regular-season match at Rhodes Field, first-place Penn faces off against third-place Brown, just two points back in the League standings. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Penn (8-4-1, 4-1-0 Ivy) is ranked sixth in the NSCAA regional standings and has received votes in this season’s prior national polls. Brown (9-3-2, 3-1-1 Ivy) is currently ranked fifth in the NSCAA region and 26th in the College Soccer News national poll. The Bears were ranked as high as 14th in the national poll this season.
Statistically speaking, Brown and Penn are an interesting match. Penn’s defense has been significantly more stingy, with a 0.89 goals-against average to Brown’s 1.58. Still, the Bears have produced 1.79 goals to Penn’s 1.69 per game. In Ivy competition, the Quakers are even tighter, with three shutouts in five matches and a 0.58 goals-against average and 1.40 goals a game. Meanwhile, Brown is breaking even with nine goals for and against.
But as we all know, stats are not everything, especially when two of the top teams in the league meet for a Homecoming game on Senior Day with Ivy title implications.
Playing in their final regular season game at Rhodes Field are seniors Daniel Cepero, Andy Howard and Ryan Tracy.
All three have been major contributors this season. Tracy leads the team in goals with four, while Howard has helped anchor Penn’s tight defense. In goal, Cepero has played every minute and guarded the net with 49 saves for a 0.89 goals-against average and six shutouts (giving him a Penn record 21 for his career).
Also making his final appearance at home is Chuck Snyder, who was sidelined with an injury after playing three seasons for the Quakers. Snyder joined the coaching staff for his senior season.
Sophomore Mike Klein leads Penn with 13 points, though Keith Vereb has come up big for the Red and Blue, scoring the team’s only goals in the last two games. He enters Saturday’s match as this week’s Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Week.
For Brown, sophomore Rhett Bernstein is the team’s sniper with eight goals and two game-winners. Senior Andrew Daniels (14 points) and sophomore Dylan Sheehan (10) are also scoring in double figures for the Bears.
The Bears’ power has been in goal production, but at the other end they hold the League’s worst goals-against average (1.90) in league matches. Their keeper duties have been split between sophomore Jarrett Leech and senior David Semenza.
This weekend will be big around the League, with Penn’s co-leader in the standings, Harvard (11-4-0, 4-1-0 Ivy) on the road to challenge last year’s Ivy tri-champ and NCAA qualifier, Dartmouth (6-6-3, 3-1-1 Ivy). Penn and Harvard both have 12 points for the lead -- but with 10 points apiece, Brown and Dartmouth are in hot pursuit. After this weekend, however, the final picture may be in better focus.
The Quakers are attempting their first Ivy title since 2002.