PHILADELPHIA – With the rest of campus on Fall Break, Penn’s 23rd-ranked men’s soccer team is taking no time off from its 2010 season, hosting American University on Tuesday night at Rhodes Field at 7 p.m.
The Quakers are in the midst of a four-game stretch spanning 14 days from Oct. 9-23. The Red and Blue started the stretch off with a 1-0 win over Columbia on Oct. 9, upping its record for 2010 to 8-2-0 and 2-0-0 overall in the Ancient Eight. The 2-0 start in the Ivy League is Penn’s best start in conference play since 2006. The start is rendered even better with the results around the League leaving just two teams (Penn and Princeton) undefeated and untied after two weeks of play.
Penn will be looking to turn its offense around against American. Though the Quakers have scored 18 goals in 2010, all but four came in the first six games of the season. Sine a 3-1 win at Georgetown on Sept. 19, Penn has scored just four goals in four games. In their last two games, the Quakers have scored once each match.
One player who has been able to stay hot on offense is Travis Cantrell. The sophomore flanker has a three-match point-scoring streak (2g, 1a) and has already set new career highs in goals (four), assists (three) and points (11) this season. He has scored the lone goal in both of Penn’s most recent matches.
While the offense has been stagnant on the scoreboard of late, Penn’s defense has made the goals the attackers do notch stand up. Over 10 matches this year, the Quakers’ defense has allowed only six goals – and never more than one in a game. Goalkeeper Ben Berg has posted four shutouts with a GAA of 0.59. Dating back to the match against Richmond, he has partnered with Penn’s defensive corps of Zach Barnett, Thomas Brandt, Jake Levin and Steven Schlaefer to hold teams scoreless for 209:18.
Berg and Penn’s back group will have their hands full on Tuesday with American. The Eagles are 6-5-0 this season and have jumped out to a 3-0-0 start in Patriot League matches. Over 11 matches, American has scored 17 goals – never failing to register at least on goal. Alassane Kane has six goals in 10 matches to lead AU. Jame Devin has helped set up a third of American’s goals with six assists to go with two scores. Junior Matt Makowski has played every minute in goal for the Eagles, allowing 14 goals (1.26 GAA) and posting a .781 save%.
No. 23 Penn (8-2-0, 2-0-0, Ivy) vs. American (6-5-0, 3-0-0, Patriot) – Tues., Oct. 12 – 7 p.m. – Rhodes Field
All-Time Series: American leads, 6-3-0.
Last Meeting: American 2, Penn 1 (2 OT); 10/13/09 in Washington, D.C.
With 19 seconds remaining in the second overtime, American’s Jamie Davin pounced on a loose ball to score the game-winner from 25-yards out. Jack Scott had given AU the lead with a first-half goal before Loukas Tasigianis tied it for Penn in the 57th minute with assists to Michael Kozak and Travis Cantrell.
Notes on Penn: The Quakers are 2-0 in the Ivy League for the first time since 2006 … The Red and Blue are 6-2-0 in non-conference matches this season … Ben Berg has five or more saves six times this season – all Penn wins … The Quakers are 3-0 against common opponents while American is 1-2.
Notes on American: The Eagles are looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time in 2010 after a 2-1 double-overtime win over Lafayette … Alessane Kane was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week after scoring the winner in the 101st minutes … Seth Goldman was PL Defensive Player of the Week after scoring a goal and coming up with a key block … Kane’s six goals lead the Patriot League ... Davin’s six assists are also tops in the Patriot League.