PHILADELPHIAThe Penn men’s soccer team hosts another Philadelphia Soccer Seven team Wednesday when the Quakers play Villanova at5 p.m. on Rhodes Field. The game is part of a men’s/women’s double-header with the Penn women taking on Philly foe Saint Joseph’s at 7:30 p.m.
The Red and Blue bring an eight-game unbeaten streak into the game at 5-0-3 on the season. Villanova is 4-3-2 and have played five consecutive overtime games, going 2-1-2 in that span.
The Quakers have dominated the series with Villanova and boast a 13-4-4 all-time record, but the teams have not met since 2005.
In the last meeting, then-sophomore Keith Vereb scored what would hold up as the game-winning goal with 10 seconds left in the first half. The goal came as a result of then-freshman Josh Baugh redirecting Erik Violante’s free kick to Vereb’s feet in front of net. Now-senior Omid Shokoufandeh was fouled in the box late in the game and Violante converted the penalty kick for the second goal.
More recently, the Wildcats were shut out over the weekend with a loss (1-0 in overtime to Seton Hall) and tie (0-0 to Georgetown). Sophomore Sean Mergenthal leads the Wildcats with three goals this season.
Last weekend, Penn came from behind to tie Temple 2-2 at Rhodes Field. The Owls scored early halting the Quakers’ shutout streak at 673:25, the longest for any team in the country this season. After scoring again three minutes later, Temple held control until Penn senior Mike Klein hit the net just before halftime to give the Quakers some momentum. Senior Ryan Porch headed in the tying goal, and despite several chances in the remaining minutes of regulation and overtime, Penn settled for the tie.
On the season, senior Andrew Ferry and Shokoufandeh have led the scoring with three goals apiece. Sophomore Zach Barnett was named to both the Ivy League and Philadelphia Soccer Seven weekly honor rolls for this three assists last week, and he now leads the team in assists.
In goal, senior Drew Healy has been a stalwart with seven shutouts to start the season and providing solid netminding to preserve a tie in three overtime contests this season. Healy boasts a measly 0.23 goals-against average and a whopping .926 save percentage.