PHILADELPHIA - Behind two goals from freshman Dami Omitaomu, the University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team prevailed in a tight 2-1 overtime match Saturday night at Rhodes Field over Brown.
Penn (5-5-5, 3-2 Ivy League) now owns nine points in Ancient Eight competition and sits fourth in the conference standings, just one point back from second and four from first.
How it Happened
It was clear from the opening whistle that not much separated the Quakers and the Bears (7-7-1, 2-2-1 Ivy League) on the pitch, as play was tight early on and continued through the entire 97 minute match. The primary stages of the contest saw no serious offensive threats from either squad, other than a corner kick in the 10th minute from Penn and the game's first shot from Brown's Matthew Chow in the 11th that forced sophomore goalkeeper Etan Mabourakh to make a save.
Penn notched its first shot in the 20th minute of play as Gideon Metrikin hammered a ball that landed just wide right of the goal. A flurry of chances would then occur for both squads, as Alec Neumann and Joe Swenson both had solid chances on frame, forcing Brown's Erik Hanson to make stellar saves, while Eric Sugarman recorded an opportunity of his own sandwiched in between. The clock hit zero with both teams owning three shots, but neither with a score, knotted 0-0.
The Quakers shot out of the gates on fire after the break, as Omitaomu landed his first shot on goal just seconds into the second period. It wouldn't take long for Omitaomu to threaten again, and this time the rookie capitalized, as he found a long ball from Neumann in the top right corner of the box before sending it to the back of the net on the far post to give Penn a 1-0 lead.
Down one, Brown came back on the offensive, peppering in a handful of shots on goal with around 30 minutes to play, again forcing Mabourakh to make solid plays on the ball. Playing in his first game since the first half against Dartmouth on Oct. 15, junior captain Sam Wancowicz rocketed a shot in the 68th minute that nearly extended the Penn advantage but floated just wide.
With time winding down, the Bears upped the intensity and it eventually paid off in the 83rd minute, as their leading goal-scorer Chow finished on a beautiful individual play to even things at one-goal each with less than eight minutes to play. Each team took two more shots to end regulation, but play would stop with the score tied 1-1.
Neither team owned an advantage in the opening states of overtime, with a few whistles being blown for physical play on both sides of the ball. It wasn't until the 97th minute, when the Quakers advanced the ball on a set play after a Brown foul, that Neumann again found Omitaomu above the left corner of the box. The Knoxville, Tenn. native would make a move on his defender, see the Bear goalkeeper Hanson off his line, and catapult the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the night, giving Penn the 2-1 overtime win.
Inside the Numbers
With the victory, Penn notched three wins in Ivy League play for the first time since 2013 and also recorded its first two-game conference winning streak since that year. The Red and Blue have outscored their past two Ivy opponents by a combined total of 5-1.
Omitaomu now has three goals on the year, all being scored within the past three games. His seven points are tied with Matt Poplawski for third-most on the team. Omitaomu's three goals are the most by a Penn freshman since Neumann's first year on the squad in 2013.
Brown led in total shots by a margin of 12-10, but Penn held the lead in shots on goal, 6-4. Corner kicks were equal as both teams took three.
Neumann notched his first assists of the season on both of Penn's scores. The senior now boasts 18 points this fall, third-most in the Ivy League.
The win over Brown was the first for Penn over the Bears since a 1-0 victory at home in 2010.
Penn will have a week off before its final road match of the season on Saturday, Nov. 5 as the Quakers head to New Jersey to battle Princeton at 4 p.m.