Title hopes over for men’s soccer team
Penn looks to finish the season on a high note and build for the future after falling at Dartmouth
October 14, 2012, 10:01 pm·
For the Penn men’s soccer team, the hope of an Ivy League title is over following a 2-1 loss Saturday.
The Quakers (2-10, 0-3) headed to Dartmouth(6-6, 2-1 Ivy) looking for their first win in Ivy play and their third win of the season. However, two goals from the Big Green in the opening 33 minutes meant they were always playing catch-up.
Penn senior captain Travis Cantrell got one score back in the 43rd minute, getting his sixth goal of the season and giving the Red and Blue hope as they entered halftime.
“Travis scored a first-class goal [Saturday] that got us back in the game at 2-1,” coach Rudy Fuller said. “We were down, 2-0, [approaching] halftime and the ball gets played into him in the box and he takes it first time. It got us back in the match and at that point coming in 2-1, the team is ready to go for the second half.”
With nine shots in the second half, Penn showed no lack of effort. But the Quakers were just unable to convert, leaving the team wondering, once again, what might have been.
For the Red and Blue, it was the defense that held back the team. Penn allows 2.5 goals per game, by far the worst average in the Ivy League. Goalkeeper Max Kurtzman has the most saves in the Ancient Eight, suggesting that the defense is letting too much get through.
Cantrell was clear that while his “goals are a product of good play by everyone,” the problems in the back “are very frustrating.”
Penn is second in the Ivies in goals per game with 1.92 but that standing is negated by defensive issues.
Fuller is keen to emphasize that while the Ivy League title is now out of reach, the season still has a long way to go.
“We’re playing for ourselves, we’re playing for our school, we’re playing for the side that came before us,” he said. “We want to carry on that legacy and so I expect us to still put our best foot forward despite our disappointment at being put out of the Ivy race.”
For the team and for seniors like Cantrell, this has become a matter of pride. In four seasons, Cantrell has made 63 appearances and scored 11 goals. Now, there is an opportunity to help mold the team for seasons to come.
“I think we’ve just got to bounce back and try and finish the season on a good note and I hope the younger guys can learn from this and use it to their advantage next year and grow as a program,” he said.
Cantrell is looking ahead to the Yale game Saturday with the hope that the Red and Blue can finally earn an Ivy victory and set them up for the remaining games of the season.
“The last couple of games we’re just gonna try and get some results,” he said, “and get some pride back for the team.”