PHILADELPHIA – Penn returns to Rhodes Field on Thursday for its second consecutive match against a Top-25 opponent, hosting No. 12 American at 7 p.m.
The Quakers enter the match with a 2-2-0 record overall after dropping a pair of matches in Washington last weekend. The Eagles, on the other hand, enter Thursday’s match with a 5-1-0 record and wins in four consecutive matches.
All-time, Penn is 4-6-0 against American. The last meeting between the two sides came in 2010, a 1-0 win for the Quakers in double overtime at Rhodes Field. Michael Kozak had the winner for the Red and Blue in the 107th minute.
The last five matches between Penn and American have been decided by one goal, and three have required overtime. The Quakers are 3-2 in the last five contests between the two schools, and are 2-1 in overtime affairs.
Five different players have scored at least one goals for the Quakers, led by Duke Lacroix and Alec Neumann who each have two. Lacroix, the reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, has scored Penn’s last two markers – the game-winner against Central Connecticut State and the lone goal against No. 10 Washington on Sunday in a 3-1 loss.
The Quakers have started 2014 similarly to 2013, winning their first two matches before dropping a pair during a west coast road swing. Head coach Rudy Fuller hopes the comparisons end there, though, as last season saw the Quakers lose six consecutive matches after the opening two wins. While the Red and Blue would rally in Ivy League play to secure the Ivy championship, Thursday’s test against a resurgent American squad provides an opportunity for the Quakers to notch a significant non-conference result.
American scored one of the early-season’s more shocking wins with a 2-1 win in overtime against No. 1 UCLA on Sept. 5. Dale Ludwig had the winner in the 97th minute. Two days later, the Eagles would knock off UC-Riverside in overtime, 1-0, to claim the championship of the Lobo Invitational hosted by New Mexico.
Last weekend, American outscored its opponents, 6-1, to claim the championship at its own Capitol Cup tournament. The Eagles downed Hartwick, 3-1, before besting Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3-0, to secure the crown.
Joe Iraola leads American in goals this season, with four goals in six matches. He scored three of his goals last weekend, including a pair against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ludwig has three goals this season – each a game-winner.
Dylan Hobert has played every minute in goal for the Eagles this season, twice earning Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors. He has conceded just three goals this season, boasting a 0.49 GAA. He has also made 16 saves, leading to a .842 save percentage.