PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team enters the second weekend of Ivy League play on Saturday, taking on Columbia in the Big Apple. Kickoff against the Lions is set for 2 p.m.
The Quakers are riding a two-match winning streak, including a 2-0 win over Cornell to open Ancient Eight competition last weekend. Overall, Penn is 2-5-1, while Columbia 5-2-1 and 0-1-0 in Ivy play.
Five Things You Need to Know…The Quakers have scored five goals in their last two games after connecting for just one in their previous six. The Red and Blue will need that offensive effort to continue on Saturday as they take on a Columbia squad which leads the Ivy League – and ranks No. 13 in the country – in goals-against average at 0.60.
Of Penn’s six goals this season, four have come from newcomers. Joe Swenson, Jerel Blades, and Erumuse Momoh have all scored in their first season as a Quaker.
Alec Neumann is due to break through for the Quakers. Coming off a season where he led the team in goals (8) and points (21), he has not found the back of the net so far this season. Neumann has been involved, though, tying for the team lead in shots with nine.
Penn welcomed back Sam Wancowicz last weekend against Cornell. The sophomore defender appeared in 15 matches and made 13 starts in 2014 as a freshman, but missed the first seven matches of 2015 with injury. He came off the bench in the second half against the Big Red, but his presence on the back line is a welcomed sight for Quakers fans.
Nick Savino has played the last four matches in goal for the Quakers, and is 2-2-0. After two tough results against Top-25 opponents, Savino has found his footing with clean sheets in his last two outings. He is fourth in the Ivy League in GAA (1.25) and third in shutouts.
Columbia won four consecutive matches to open the 2015 season, highlighted by a 2-1 overtime win at then-No. 18 Providence on September 13 which catapulted the Lions into the Top-25. Columbia reached as high as No. 21 before a 2-1 loss to Brown last weekend dropped them out.
On Tuesday, Columbia defeated Drexel, 1-0, in West Philadelphia. Arthur Bosua scored in the 76th minute for the Lions, his second goal in as many games. Kyle Jackson made two saves for the shutout.
Bosua’s two goals are the team lead, with seven other players each scoring one goal for the Lions. Kyle Jackson has played every minute in goal for Columbia, and has a .815 save percentage.
Last year, Penn was edged by Columbia in Philly, 2-1. Duke Lacroix gave Penn the lead in the 20th minute, but two goals in 8:23 from Columbia were the difference. Both Lions goals came in the second half, in the 61st and 69th minutes.