PHILADELPHIA – With an impressive run in non-conference play sending good vibes through the program, the Penn men’s soccer club takes to the road to begin Ivy League play. Up first for the Quakers in Ancient Eight is Cornell at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Red and Blue finished September with a 6-2-0 record, equaling their win total from the entire 2009 season. More important is the way the Quakers have earned the wins. Penn has found ways to score often, with 16 goals over the eight matches. In all six wins, Penn has scored at least two goals. At the same time, Penn has ratcheted up the defense, allowing six goals while recording a pair of clean sheets. Two years removed from an Ivy title season littered with four one-goal Ivy wins, Penn’s three wins by a goal – including two in overtime – are good experience to rely on should any Ivy games face similar scenarios.
Penn’s offense sits atop the Ivy League entering the weekend, with three more goals than second-place Columbia. While Penn has been content to score frequently and lock down on defense, the Big Red have been engaged in closer affairs. The goal totals for Cornell find 10 goals for and eight goals against through eight matches. Cornell has a 3-2-3 record, with four games decided by one goal in addition to the three draws. The Big Red have defended home field in 2010, posting a 3-0-1 record at Charles F. Berman Field while outscoring foes 8-4 in Ithaca. In their last four outings overall, the Big Red has gone 2-0-2 with wins over Saint Joseph’s (3-1) and Canisius (1-0).
Overall in the series, Penn leads 33-24-7 and has not lost to Cornell in the last four matches dating back to 2006. While Cornell has had success at Berman Field, it does not include wins over Penn in recent times, as the Quakers have returned home from Ithaca without a loss four times in a row.
While freshman Stephen Baker’s seven goals and 16 total points may hint that Penn is a one-man show on offense, the Quakers have had plenty of “O” to go around this year as six different players have at least one goal and 12 Quakers have registered at least one point. Baker may be the primary finisher thanks to his place at the top of the attack, but veterans Loukas Tasigianis, Christian Barreiro and Travis Cantrell have shown the ability to make defenses contain the entire group.
The same can be said for Cornell, which has eight players score at least one goal. Chase Aaronson has two goals and an assist while Jimmy Lannon has a team-high three helpers to go with one goal. Freshman Daniel Haber has launched 24 shots, tops on the team, but has just one goal.
Penn (6-2-0) at Cornell (3-2-3) – Saturday, October 2, 2010 – 7 p.m.
All-Time Series: Penn leads 33-24-7
Last Meeting: In a knock-down, drag-out affair at Rhodes Field, Penn rallied back twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Cornell in Jaro Zawislan’s first Ivy match as head coach at Cornell. After a scoreless first half, Cornell scored three minutes into the second on an Aronson goal. Barreiro answered for Penn 10 minutes later to square the match at 1-1. In the 72nd minute, Lee Rubenstein was handed an immediate red card after a foul near midfield. In the confusion, Kyle Parsons headed home a wide-open shot to give Cornell the lead. Alex Takakuwa again tied the match for Penn in the 79th minute, converting a pass from Tobi Olopade. The final ten minutes of regulation and the two overtimes featured many chances, fouls and cards – including one to Zawislan, but no goals.
Notes on Penn: The Quakers six wins match the total from all of 2009 … Stephen Baker is tied for fourth in the country in points with 16 … He is one of two freshmen among the group tied with 16 points … Baker’s seven goals is also tied for fourth in Division I … His 16 points are the most by a Penn freshman since 1986 (Mike Constantino – 21 pts.).
Notes on Cornell: Cornell has gone unbeaten in its last four games, posting a 2-0-2 mark over that span, and has draws in both of its last two contests … Cornell most recently played to a scoreless tie against Binghamton on Sunday after playing Syracuse to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 22 … Cornell has benefitted from a balanced offensive attack that has seen eight different players score at least one goal this season, and only two players scoring more than once … Junior forward Chase Aaronson and junior midfielder Jimmy Lannon share the team scoring lead with five points apiece, with Aaronson potting two goals and adding an assist and Lannon tallying one goal with three assists … Sophomore Rick Pflasterer has played every minute in goal for the Big Red, recording a 0.92 goals-against average and a .789 save percentage with a pair of shutouts.