PHILADELPHIA – The defending Ivy League champion University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team returned to campus this week to begin the 2014 season. After a day of meetings and physicals followed by a Friday-morning conditioning test, the team will convene at Penn Park for an intrasquad scrimmage Friday evening to officially return to the field.
The Quakers are coming off their eighth Ivy League championship and first since 2008. The title was the third outright Ancient Eight championship for the Red and Blue and first since 1972. Penn posted a 5-1-1 record in Ivy matches last season, and led the League in scoring offense and scoring defense during League play.
Penn returns 10 letterwinners and six starters from last year’s championship squad, led by reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, Duke Lacroix. A NSCAA second-team All-Region selection last season, Lacroix was second in the Ivy League in goals (8) and points (19) en route to unanimous first-team All-Ivy honors.
Lacroix is one of four All-Ivy selections from 2013 returning to the pitch for the Quakers in 2014. Midfielder Louis Schott joined Lacroix as a first-team All-Ivy choice last season, while Alec Neumann is coming off a second-team All-Ivy rookie campaign and Matt Poplawski was honorable mention All-Ivy in his first collegiate season.
Head Coach Rudy Fuller returns for his 16th season, which begins with the “University City Derby” match with Drexel on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. The Quakers will play two road matches against teams ranked inside the preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire Division I Rankings – Sept. 14 at No. 6 Washington and Sept. 24 at No. 15 Penn State.