Men's Soccer Set for Yale on Saturday

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The term "Separation Saturday" was used last week to describe Penn's match with Dartmouth, but perhaps that term should have been shelved seven days as this weekend has the top six teams in the Ivy League all pairing off as conference play reaches the midway point. For the Quakers, their match comes at home on Rhodes Field against Yale at 7:30 p.m.

The Quakers are 6-5-2 overall and 1-2-0 inside the Ivy League, holding in sixth place entering the weekend. The Bulldogs are 6-5-1 overall and are part of a four-team logjam in second place with a 2-1-0 Ivy record. First-place Cornell hosts Brown - a team tied for second - on Saturday while the other two 2-1-0 squads will meet when Dartmouth hosts Columbia. A benefit to Saturday's schedule for Penn? The fact that the other three Ancient Eight matches on the day will are afternoon matinees and will be finished by the time the Quakers kick off.

If Penn is to climb back into the Ivy League race, they need to replicate last year's success against Yale. In a physical game which saw 22 fouls, five yellow cards, and a very important straight red to Yale in the 68th minute, Penn scored a 2-0 win over the Bulldogs. The straight red came on a tackle from behind in the penalty area, and Christian Barreiro nailed the PK to give Penn the lead. 11 minutes later, Barreiro set up Loukas Tasigianis for the insurance goal, capping a three-point night.

It is fitting that Barreiro won on fire last year against Yale, as the senior midfielder enters this weekend's tilt on a similar roll. He has scored a goal in three consecutive games and has moved up to fourth in the Ivy League in points with 16. He enters Saturday's match one point off of his career high and with 53 points is currently sixth all-time on Penn's scoring list.

Penn's offense could use a bump from Duke Lacroix who has gone five games without a goal and has notched just one assist over that period. While he has been held off the scoreboard over the last five outings, his 12 points and five goals are still second on the team and the freshman forward is usually the most dangerous Quaker on the field in the run of play.

The Bulldogs won their first two Ivy games of the season, shutting out Harvard (1-0) and Dartmouth (2-0), before a 2-0 loss to Cornell last week. All three of Yale's Ivy matches have come in New Haven, where Yale has gone 5-2 this season. Away from Reese Stadium, Yale is 1-3-1, and the Bulldog offense has scored just one goal away from its home pitch.

Brad Rose has 11 points on the season, averaging a point a game for the Bulldogs. He has five assists, which coupled with his three goals means Rose has factored directly in eight of Yale's 19 goals this season. Peter Jacobsen has the team lead in goals scored with four, while he, Rose and three others have each netted one game-winning goal. Bobby Thalman has started all 12 matches in goal, and has allowed just 11 goals for a GAA of 0.89. He has been busy over the 11 starts, making 64 saves on 75 shots for a save percentage of .853 which ranks No. 10 in the country.

Overall in the series with Yale, Penn is 45-36-9, with wins in the last five. Of those last five meetings, four have been one-goal games, including a double-overtime win at Rhodes Field for Penn in 2007. The Quakers have not lost to Yale at home since Oct. 25, 2003, with a 2-0-1 mark during the current three-game unbeaten streak in University City.