PHILADELPHIA – A trio of All-Ivy performers for the University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team will serve as team captains for the 2016 season, with Alec Neumann, Matt Poplawski, and Sam Wancowicz earning the right to don the armband for the Red and Blue.
Seniors Neumann and Poplawski will be serving as captain for the second year in a row, joined by first-time skipper Wancowicz who enters his junior season.
“These three individuals check off all the boxes a coach is looking for when a team selects its captains,” said James C. Gentle Head Coach of Men’s Soccer Rudy Fuller. “They lead by example on and off the field, they are selfless teammates who put the program first in every endeavor, and they are role models not only to our younger players but our young fans who are becoming a part of the Penn Soccer community.”
A three-time second-team All-Ivy selection, Alec Neumann has appeared in 51 matches for the Quakers with 44 starts. Adept at finishing, Neumann enters his final season with 15 career goals and nine assists. He led the Quakers in 2015 with 24 shots taken and his 21 points in 2014 were third in the Ivy League.
Matt Poplawski has manned the middle of the pitch for the Quakers for most of his career, appearing in 40 matches with 30 starts. An honorable mention All-Ivy midfielder for the Quakers in 2013, Poplawski started the first six matches of 2015 – averaging 83+ minutes – before an ankle injury curtailed his campaign. Primarily a holding midfielder, Poplawski can pitch in on offense when called upon as he enters 2016 with two career goals and four assists.
Sam Wancowicz stepped right into the defensive group as a freshman in 2014, starting 13 of his 15 games and playing 1,227 minutes as a rookie. Last year, he missed half the season with injury but returned to earn honorable mention All-Ivy distinction while averaging 79 minutes over his nine appearances. The Baltimore native would score twice at West Virginia last season, including the game-winner in overtime. A central defender, Wancowicz enters 2016 with three career goals.
The Red and Blue open 2016 against American at Rhodes Field on September 2 at 7 p.m.