PHILADELPHIA - There sure was an offensive explosion in University City on Sunday night, and it came at Rhodes Field as Penn defeated Long Island, 4-1, on the second day of the Penn Soccer Classic.
The Quakers took the title in their home tournament with the 4-1 win, outscoring their two opponents from New York by a combined score of 7-1.
On Sunday, Lacroix was the key man on the offensive attack for the Red and Blue, scoring twice for his second multi-goal game of the season. Both two-goal affairs have come at Rhodes Field for Lacroix - the other is his home debut against Saint Joseph's on Sept. 3.
The freshman was active early, netting his first goal in the ninth minute on
assists from Stephen Baker and Christian Barreiro. The play began on the foot of Barreiro, with the senior midfielder finding Baker who then one-touched it to Lacroix who took one dribble and sent it in.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Quakers through halftime and into the second half, but it was not for a lack of looks on Penn's part. The Red and Blue took 13 shots in the first half to just two for Long Island. Adam Janssen was busy for the Blackbirds, making seven saves in the opening 45 minutes with another three shots blocked by the defense. In fact, LIU blocked five total shots by the Quakers - all likely goals without the defense pitching in.
In the second half, Penn capitalized on its chances to blow open the match. In the 55th minute, Baker potted his fourth of the season on an unassisted strike that began off the foot of Nick Unger. With the ball loose just outside the 18, Unger lobbed it in to the box. Instead of finding a head or a foot, the ball found grass a few times as it bounced out of the reach of both teams before Baker was able to kick the ball back over his head (not a full bicycle, but a similar idea) and into the goal for a two-goal lead.
In the 69th minute, Travis Cantrell scored his first of the season, again making Long Island pay for an inability to clear a loose ball in the box. This time, Lacroix took space down the left sideline and sent a cross towards the box. A LIU defender attempted to send the ball away from the danger area, but the knock went right to Cantrell who was alone on the right half of the field and used the open space to attack the keeper, deke him out and score the goal.
Unger got his assist on Lacroix's second goal of the night in the 76th minute when he fed a low cross to the freshman who used his speed to win the race to the ball and dribble around the keeper for his fifth of the season.
Long Island got on the board in the 80th minute when Jakeem Johnson converted on a free kick from 20 yards out. His first shot went straight into the wall and came back to him, but the second one was too quick for Penn's wall or goalkeeper Max Kurtzman to handle as Johnson ended the bid for a clean sheet for the Red and Blue.
Penn ends its first stretch of non-conference play with a 5-2-1 record and has outscored opponents by a 17-7 margin. The Quakers have also nearly doubled up opponents in shots, taking 160 shots to just 82 for opposing teams. That trend was especially true on Sunday as the Quakers outshot LIU, 23-4, over the 90 minutes.
Ivy League play opens for the Quakers on Oct. 1 against Cornell at 7 p.m.
Download: Long Island.pdf