PHILADELPHIA - Led by a first-half hat trick from senior captain Alec Neumann, the University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team rolled to a 5-0 victory over Drexel Saturday night at Rhodes Field.
Sam Wancowicz and Sam Hefter also scored in the second half as the Quakers (2-1-4) earned their largest win since a 5-0 decision over Sacred Heart on September 8, 2013. Neumann's hat trick was the first by a Penn player since Stephen Baker scored four against Rider in 2012.
Inside the Numbers
With a Philadelphia Soccer Six game on the docket, the Quakers knew they had to come out the early aggressor, and they did just that. The Red and Blue quickly got several shots on goal before Neumann's first strike in the 23rd minute, as the New Hope, Pa. native lobbed a ball over the goalkeeper's head after a scramble in the box, vaulting Penn to an early 1-0 lead.
Neumann was only just beginning, as freshman Hefter found him just minutes later on the far side of the box, resulting in his team-leading second assist of the year as Neumann sent the ball straight to the back of the net. Near the end of the half, Gideon Metrikin flipped a ball over the head of the defender, landing at Neumann's feet as the senior finished strong past Dragon goalie Tyler Afflerbach.
The Red and Blue went into the break with a dominant advantage in shots at 10-1, while earning a 4-0 lead in corner kicks. The Quakers were able to absorb increased pressure from Drexel as the visitors ratcheted up the physical intensity, earning three yellow cards in the process. The first tally for Penn in the second half came off a set piece started by freshman Brandon Bartel finding Wancowicz on a curling ball in the box, who after two shots found the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
The finishing touches of the contest featured a rookie-to-rookie connection as Bartel sent another free kick to the left side of the goal, finding Hefter who headed it home for his second tally this fall.
The Quakers have the week off before beginning Ivy League play next Sunday, October 2 at 4 p.m. Penn will travel north to take on the Cornell Big Red (0-6-2) in Ithaca, N.Y.