PHILADELPHIA--Returning to Philadelphia as the co-champs of last weekend's San Diego State tournament, Penn's men's soccer team is setting their sights on winning the Penn Soccer Classic this weekend. After taking the trophy last season, the Quakers will look to overcome Albany and Navy to keep possession of the title. The Quakers face Albany on Friday at 5 p.m. with Navy on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Going into the weekend, the Quakers have an overall record of 1-1-2 and are looking for their first win at home. The Quakers are led by senior Alex Takakuwa with three of Penn's seven goals. Sophomore Christian Barreiro had a big two-goal performance against San Diego and earned mention on the Ivy League weekly honor roll.
On defense, the Quakers' backline was tested in overtime against SDSU and was able to hold off the Aztecs for the tie. Junior Ben Berg has been Penn's go-to keeper this season and holds a 1.58 goals-against average and .708 save percentage.
Albany (0-4-1 overall) comes to Penn on the first of a four-game road-trip. It will also be Albany's third straight match against a reigning conference champion. Still in the hunt for their first win of the season, the Great Danes have only four goals in the five games, but have played to overtime three times. Their leading scorer is junior forward Bo Jelovac with two of Albany's goals. Goalkeeper Adrian Foncette has given up nine goals and recorded 41 saves; including setting an Albany program record with 16 saves in its 3-1 loss to Colgate.
Navy (3-2-0 overall) heads to the tournament having gone 2-0 and winning the UMBC/adidas Kickoff Classic, allowing only one goal on the weekend. The Midshipmen are stocked with a lot of dangerous attacking players as seven different players have found the back of the net already this season. Five of those goals came from freshmen, with rookie Michael Rakoczy tallying two goals and two assists. Senior goalkeeper Tyler Bristol is coming off of a 2-0 shutout against Saint Francis in the UMBC/adidas Kickoff Classic.
In addition to Navy's large freshman class, the Midshipmen also welcomed a new head coach in Dave Brandt. In 12 seasons at Messiah College, Brandt amassed a 246-25-12 record, making him the winningest head coach in NCAA history, at any level. At Messiah, he captured six Division III NCAA titles.
Temple is the fourth team in the tournament and will host its matches in Ambler, Pa. The Owls will face Navy on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and then Albany on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Penn and Temple will wait to go head-to-head until Wed. Sept. 23. Be sure to catch the live in-game blog updates provided by Penn Athletic Communications Associate Director Jen Werner for both games this weekend.