PHILADELPHIA - For the second Ivy League game in a row, the University of Pennsylvania men's soccer team needed an overtime hero to seal a win. This time, it was sophomore Keith Vereb who headed home the golden goal with 1:11 left in the second overtime period to give the Quakers a 1-0 victory over Dartmouth at Rhodes Field.
The finish capped a match that saw Dartmouth (6-2-4, 2-1-0 Ivy) play a man down for the final 25:46 of the game. The Quakers (8-3-0, 2-1-0) won their second overtime game of the season.
Both teams had attacking chances early on. Penn nearly scored in the fifth minute when junior Ryan Tracy's shot was cleared off the line by a Big Green defender. Dartmouth did likewise, almost scoring in the eighth minute if not for a Penn defender making a save.
Junior goalkeeper Dan Cepero was called on to make six saves -- five in the first half -- while Penn's backline also produced a pair of team saves. The win marked Cepero's Ivy League-best seventh shutout of the season.
The game's turning point came in the 84th minute, when Big Green goalkeeper Rowan Anders handled the ball outside the box and drew a red card. With the man advantage, Penn stepped up the attacking pressure, but it was Quaker senior Erik Violante who saved the game a minute into the second overtime when he cleared Tom Lobben's header off the line.
It would be Violante again who set up the game-winner eight minutes later when he served up a free kick to freshmanJosh Baugh, who headed it on goal. Vereb took the rebound and headed it into the side of the net.
"I think Cepero and the back four, and in particular the entire team, we knew restarts were their strength," said Penn head coach Rudy Fuller. "I give our back line a lot of credit because they held strong and kept them off the board."
Fuller said the man advantage didn't change his strategy, but it did influence his team's energy. "We told our guys to take their energy higherand find that goal," he said.
Dartmouth held a 10-9 edge in shots and a 7-6 advantage in corners.
Penn returns to Rhodes Field next Saturday against Yale at 5 p.m. as the first half of another men's/women's soccer doubleheader.
Written by Tim Flynn, athletic communications assistant