HANOVER, N.H. – There is a familiar saying in the world of Penn Athletics thanks to the late football Gameday Coordinator Coach Dan Staffieri that goes, “Setbacks pave the way for comebacks.” Those words rang true for the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s soccer team in a pivotal road match at Dartmouth as the Quakers rallied from an early deficit for an important 2-1 road win.
Taking on a team that entered the day tied atop the League table and was enjoying Homecoming, the last thing the Quakers likely had on their to-do list was concede an early penalty kick to the host Big Green. Unfortunately, Penn was put behind the eight ball in the seventh minute when an Eric Jayne shot was blocked by a Penn handball inside the penalty area and Gabe Stauder connected on the penalty kick.
The silver lining to allowing an early goal against was just that. It was early. There was plenty of time left. Sometimes, the audacity of youth is exactly what is needed to overcome the odds in tough circumstances and the Quakers had just that precociousness to garner energy from in the form of two freshmen looking for their first Ivy League goals.
A pair of rookies led the rally, with Austin Kuhn giving Penn the lead in the 59th minute. Kuhn finished a beautiful sequence for the Red and Blue, taking a Forrest Clancy pass just inside the box and placing his shot back to the far left post. Penn strung together five passes in tight quarters to spring the attacking sequence, with Alec Neumann getting the ball to Clancy before the score.
Kuhn’s winner came on the heels of an equalizer from one of his classmates before the end of the first half. Sam Wancowicz picked an opportune time to notch his first collegiate goal, coming up from the back line to knock in a Forrest Clancy corner service in the 35th minute.
After allowing the early penalty kick goal, Max Polkinhorne was perfect in the run of play, making four saves. His biggest arguably came in the 48th minute when he denied Jonathan Nierenberg with a diving stop from 20 yards out to keep the game level. After the Quakers took the lead, Polkinhorne was key to clearing away numerous Dartmouth serves into the mixer.
The Quakers improve to 6-6-0 overall and move to 2-1-0 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth falls to 7-4-1 overall and is also 2-1-0 in the Ivy League.
The Quakers return to action next weekend, heading to Yale in another Ivy match. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.