PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team scored twice in the game's first 20 minutes, then played tight defense the rest of the way as it earned a 2-0 victory over American Wednesday night at Rhodes Field.
Penn (9-4-1) kept itself in the hunt for an at-large bid to the NCAA College Cup with the win while the Eagles (5-9-1) hadtheir two-game winning streak snapped.
After American ran out to a fast start in the first five minutes, the Quakers settled things down, and it paid instant dividends in the eighth minute. On Penn's first shot of the game, sophomore Derek Hobson took advantage of an Eagle turnover byblasting a beautiful curling shot from 30 yards out into the top left corner of the net.
Penn kept up the pressure and found the insurance goal in the 20th minute. Senior John Rhodes lobbed what appeared to be a harmless ball across thefield to Alex Grendi. Grendi, who did well to settle it, turned and crossed the ball right back to Rhodes, who streaked in front of goal and headed the ball home.
The Penn defense took over from there, holding American to just six shots, all in the first 52 minutes of the game.
"It was a good overall performance for us, and a lot of guys played well," said Head Coach Rudy Fuller.
Junior goalkeeper Dan Cepero collected his eighth shutout of the season while making two saves. Counterpart Chris Sedlak made six saves in picking up the loss.
The Quakers outshot American 13-6, while the Eagles held a 4-3 edge in corners. Penn had eight offsides calls.
Penn plays its home finale Saturday against Princeton. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. as the twilight of a women's/men's doubleheader.
Written by Tim Flynn, athletic communications assistant.