PHILADELPHIA - After a two-game stint in the friendly confines of Rhodes Field, the No. 17 Penn men's soccer team is back on the road this weekend for a pivotal Ivy match with Dartmouth on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Quakers are 2-0-0 in the Ancient Eight and 9-2-0 overall. The Red and Blue are one of two teams with clean records in League play after two matches, joining Princeton atop the standings with six points. The Big Green are 6-3-1 overall and find themselves in a tie for fourth place in the Ivy League with a 1-1-0 record. The three points at stake this weekend in Hanover can go a long way to either adding to Penn's cushion atop the Ivies or to turning around Dartmouth's season in conference play.
Two of the top three offenses in the Ivy League are slated to meet on Saturday as Penn enters the weekend with 19 goals scored while Dartmouth is right behind with 18. However, there is no question that Penn would like to regain its footing on attack after three-straight one-goal outings. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has scored three goals in both of its last matches, winning both times.
While Penn hasn't exactly lit the world on fire offensively of late, the results have still been there for head coach Rudy Fuller's club. Starting with an 89th-minute goal from Travis Cantrell at Cornell Oct. 2, continuing with another Cantrell score last Saturday against Columbia and most recently with a Michael Kozak score in the 107th minute against American, Penn has made the one goal stand up each time. Penn's defense has allowed just six goals in 2010, and its team defense of 0.53 GAA is ranked 18th in the country.
Dartmouth dropped its first Ivy match to Princeton, 3-0, but rallied to get to .500 in the League with a 3-1 win over Yale last week. The Big Green are extremely balanced as an offensive unit, with seven players each scoring two goals. Two-time first-team All-Ivy striker Lucky Mkosana leads the Big Green with two goals and three assists while taking a whopping 53 shots. Andrew Olsen is right behind with two goals and a pair of assists. Three-time All-Ivy performer Daniel Keat was named third-team All-America in 2009 and is a vital part of Dartmouth's midfield. In goal, Sean Donovan has started nine matches and is 5-3-1 with a 1.27 GAA.
No. 17 Penn at Dartmouth - Saturday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m. at Burnham Field
All-Time Series: Penn Leads, 29-20-9
Last Meeting: Dartmouth 3, Penn 1 - Oct. 18, 2009 at Rhodes Field
After the two sides traded goals in the first half, No. 20 Dartmouth scored early and late in the second period to pull away for a 3-1 win in Philadelphia. Austin Bowers opened the scoring for the Big Green in the 13th minute with a close-range score. Alex Takakuwa headed in a Zach Barnett throw in the 22nd minute to even the match. In the second half, Bryan Giudicelli again scored from in tight for Dartmouth. Lucky Mkosana added insurance in the 88th minute on a breakaway.
Notes on Penn: The Quakers have won three matches in a row by scores of 1-0 ... Dating back to the Richmond game (9/26), senior goalkeeper Ben Berg has gone 305:52 without allowing a goal ... Penn has had six different players score game-winning goals in 2010.
Notes on Dartmouth: Last week against Yale, the Big Green scored three times in the second half for a 3-1 win ... Daniel Keat was named to CollegeSoccerNews.com's National Team of the Week after scoring in both of Dartmouth's wins last week.