On Friday, Temple will start the tournament against Mercer at 3 p.m., followed by the Quakers home opener against Buffalo at 7:30 p.m. The two Philadelphia-area schools will then switch opponents for Sunday’s slate of games, both of which are scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Temple will play its games at the Ambler Sports Complex in Ambler, Pa.
The Quakers (3-0-1 overall) return to Rhodes Field with four consecutive shutouts to begin the season, gaining regional and national recognition in the process. Penn is currently ranked 10th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)Northeast region poll, and also received votes in both the NSCAA and CollegeSoccerNews.com polls.
Despite being outshot 49-37 to date, the Penn defense has been stellar, anchored by the exploits of senior goalkeeper Drew Healy. Healy’s eight-save performance against Seton Hall and four-save effort against American culminated in his second consecutive Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Week award. Thus far, Healy has earned four-straight shutouts to his name, becoming the only Quaker to do so since Jim Miller in 1972.
On the offensive side, senior forward Andrew Ferry leads Penn with a total of five points, after scoring two second-half goals and a season-high four points against Seton Hall. Ferry is also tied with fellow senior forward Omid Shokoufandeh for the team lead in goals (2), and is one of four Quakers (along with sophomore midfielder Aaron Ross, senior midfielder Kevin Unger and freshman midfielder Nick Unger) to register an assist.
Buffalo (5-2-0 overall, 1-0-0 Mid-American Conference) heads into the Penn Soccer Classic with some momentum, defeating Florida Atlantic 3-0 Wednesday in their first MAC conference game. The victory follows two tough losses over the weekend, as the Bulls fell to Big Ten opponents Michigan State (1-0) and Michigan (2-1) at the Michigan Tournament.
Senior forward Dominic Oppong leads a potent Bulls offense with five goals through Buffalo’s first seven games, including his most recent score against Florida Atlantic. Oppong is one of eight Bulls to have scored at least one goal, contributing to a team total (14) that currently ranks first in the MAC. Starting goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth paces the defense with a 0.86 goals-against average and two shutouts.Meanwhile, Mercer (0-3-2) will arrive in Philadelphia looking to revive an offense that has struggled at times this season. The Bears have been outshot 81-39 and outscored 10-3, with only three memberssenior defender Bolade Ogunmade, freshman midfielder Arkenson Neckles and freshman defender Charles Petersonamong the team’s goal scorers. Ogunmade and Peterson earned all-tournament honors at the recent Wingate by Wyndham Classic, where the Mercer defense allowed the second-fewest goals of any team with three. Overall, the Bears were 0-1-1 for the Classic, tying with Howard 1-1 and losing to Georgia State 2-1.