The men’s soccer team (3-2-1, 0-1 Ivy) dropped a hard fought overtime decision 2-1 to Penn (5-1, 1-0 Ivy) Saturday night. In a true battle, the Quakers needed 104 minutes to defeat the Red on Berman Field in front of a huge crowd of alumni and fans.
“Anytime you lose a game like that, an Ivy League game, in sudden death, in front of your fans and all of your alumni, it’s tough to stomach. It’s tough to take, but we’ll live to fight another day,” said head coach Bryan Scales of the loss.
It was a game of the goalies as senior Doug Allan finished the night with six saves, a few made at point blank range to keep the Red in the game.
“I thought Doug had a good game. He has to be razor sharp, it allows us more room for error, and so when you have a sharp goalkeeper back there, it gives us a little bit more room for error,” said Scales.
However it was Penn’s keeper, junior Matt Haefner, who was unbeatable and finished the night with eight saves. Haefner stopped three strong Red scoring opportunities during regulation to help the Quakers win the game.
“He saved a penalty kick, that’s tough to do, and it was a good save,” praised Scales. “Liam hit it well and their goalkeeper, I think, came up big on a lot of different occasions today. He was a big difference.”
The Quakers first opportunity to score came 21 minutes into the first half. Allan came out to challenge a Penn attacker who got off a chip just before Allan was able to tackle him. However, senior captain Liam Hoban got in and made the stop before the ball crossed the goal line.
“They worked extremely hard today, dealing with some dangerous front runners. I thought they did a good job,” said Scales of his team’s defensive effort.
It was the Red that got on the board first as junior Doug Charton followed up on a Penn pass back to Haefner. As Haefner, unable to pick up the ball, attempted to clear it, Charton redirected it into the back of the net at 34:22 to take the lead.
Continuing to pressure the Quaker defense, Cornell almost brought its score to two as junior Ian Pilarski found freshman Pape Seye with less than five minutes remaining. Pape took the ball one-on-one, but Haefner made a great deflection ending Cornell’s run.
The second half saw an even battle for the first twenty minutes, but at 65:25, Penn was able to capitalize on a throw-in which went past two Red defenders, to sophomore Joshua Duyan who found classmate Joe Klein. Klein was able to turn and fire a shot to the far post tying the score.
The equalizer seemed to give new life to the Red, as it increased its offensive attacks.
With 22 minutes left, Pilarski set up senior Scott Benowicz inside the box. Benowicz then advanced the ball before being taken out by a Penn defender setting up Hoban for a penalty kick. Hoban took a picture perfect shot, sending the ball to the left corner. But once again, Haefner showed phenomenal skill, and stepped in and knocked the ball just outside the post.
Over the next four minutes, Haefner stopped three Cornell scoring opportunities sending the game into extra minutes.
After a scoreless first overtime period, Quaker sophomore Stephen Kroculick sent the winner past Allan to the left corner of the net with five minutes remaining in the second overtime.
“At the end of the day, it was a good college soccer game. Both teams had chances, they hit the post, we had a couple of breakaways, their goalkeeper saved a penalty [kick]. With those breaks, it could go either way. Unfortunately they got the goal to finish it off,” finished Scales.
The Red will continue its Ivy schedule hosting Yale next Saturday at 7 p.m. on Berman Field.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss