PHILADELPHIA – A jumbled Ivy League men’s soccer race could receive a bit of clarity this weekend as the Ancient Eight head into Week Five of league play. The University of Pennsylvania’s men’s soccer team will be entertaining its alumni as part of Homecoming Weekend on Saturday as the Quakers host Brown at Rhodes Field for a 7:30 p.m. start.
The Quakers (6-7-1, 2-1-1 Ivy) are one of five teams within three points of each other as the stretch run begins. The defending Ivy League champions are in a three-way tie for second place, joined by Princeton and Harvard two points behind table-setting Dartmouth. Cornell has won two League games in a row to climb one point behind the second-place logjam.
The Red and Blue are the only team in that group of five not to play another part of the quintet this weekend. Princeton will venture on the road to Cornell, while Dartmouth hosts Harvard as some separation could come into play depending on the results.
The Quakers will host a Brown team which is 4-5-5 overall and 1-2-1 in the Ivy League. The Bears are winless in their last four of their last matches, going 1-2-2 after a 1-0 win against Columbia on October 4.
The Red and Blue are 3-2-1 in their last six matches, but are looking to get back on track after a 1-1 tie at Yale last weekend and a 1-0 loss to West Virginia on Tuesday night.
The last three matches have seen Penn concede early goals to put itself in a hole. Twice, the Quakers climbed out to salvage points, but a more directed effort in the early stages of the match will allow a potent Penn offense to dictate the pace of the game. The Red and Blue are fourth in goals scored in the Ivy League at 21.
Penn’s leading scorers, Duke Lacroix and Alec Neumann, each have six goals but neither has scored in Penn’s last three games. Forrest Clancy has seven points in his last six games, including two goals in Ivy play this season.
Brown has struggled to find the back of the next in 2014, scoring 13 goals in 15 matches. Over their last nine matches, the Bears have scored five goals and been blanked four times. Junior Jack Morab has a share of the team lead in scoring with two goals and four assists for eight points. Senior Ben Maurey also has eight points, with three goals and two assists.
Mitch Kupstats has started 13 games in goal for the Bears this season, with a 3-5-5 record and a 0.99 GAA. He has made 48 saves for a save percentage of .774.