Penn men's soccer drops two straight on late goals
Quakers stay close against quality opponents but let up on defense late for losses
September 15, 2013, 8:46 pm · Updated September 15, 2013, 11:57 pm·
Meredith Stern | DP
When senior Tyler Kinn leapt to make a save in the 96th minute of Penn’s Sunday match against UCSB, he didn’t just save the game, but he preserved the hope for a successful road trip.
However, despite his best efforts late, the team couldn’t hold off the Gauchos to grab one victory on its two-game journey to the west coast.
Two late goals doomed the Quakers in both contests this weekend, where they fell to Cal Poly, 3-2, on Friday night before losing to UCSB, 2-1, in double overtime two days later.
Penn’s defense showed a great effort over the course of the weekend, giving opponents lots of trouble on offense, but crossing defense remains a problem moving forward for the Quakers (2-2). After the game, coach Rudy Fuller said that “we failed to take care of two services in the box” and that was the main reason Penn couldn’t bring home a victory from this road trip.
While the weekend ended with two tough losses, for a time on Friday, it looked like the Red and Blue would upset a Cal Poly (3-2) squad that had beaten No. 6 UCLA previously in the season.
But 32 minutes in, the Mustangs put an end to Penn’s 212-minute shutout streak.
Senior Nicky Yin tried to clear a Cal Poly cross with a header that instead found its way into the top left corner of the goal before Kinn even had time to react, giving the Mustangs a crucial 1-0 advantage.
About a minute later, the Quakers joined in on the scoring, when junior Louis Schott tapped in a cross for the score.
The second half was a different story. Both defenses came out and continued to play physically, which led to a total of 11 fouls between the two teams.
Twenty-nine minutes into the second half, the deadlock was broken by freshman forward Sam Hayward, who scored his first goal of the season, fed by a cross from senior Jonny Dolezal in the 74th minute.
Six minutes later, freshman Alec Neumann got free on a breakaway but failed to give the Quakers a commanding 3-1 lead.
Penn couldn’t hold on to the momentum for long as a minute later Cal Poly’s redshirt freshman Matt LaGrassa got an equalizing goal by Kinn.
Hayward then missed a potential go-ahead goal wide right by mere inches in the 86th minute. This was another near-miss that came back to haunt the Quakers, as an Alex Reddy foul subsequently set up a Cal Poly free kick.
Junior Connor Dreschler got off a header that found its way into the back of the net to give the Mustangs a 3-2 lead in the 87th minute that would prove final.
On Sunday, the results still didn’t turn in the Quakers’ favor.
For much of the match, the two teams traded shots back and forth to no avail. The first half ended in a deadlock, with both teams firing off four shots each.
Thirty minutes into the second half the deadlock was broken by the Gauchos (3-2-0), when a Charlie Miller header found junior Adis Islamovic’s foot to hammer home the goal.
Just like the game against Cal Poly, the Quakers responded quickly. Just two minutes later, a poor clearance attempt by the Gauchos was intercepted by senior Stephen Baker who fired a rocket past the UCSB goalkeeper to bring the game back to a 1-1 tie.
After a quiet first overtime, Penn found itself in trouble when the second session began.
After a near goal off a Penn header was saved, junior Ismalia Jome put the game to rest with another beautiful cross. The service bounced in the box once and found the diving head of Miller who placed the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, ending the sudden-death overtime just as quickly as it started.
Just like last year, another West Coast road trip, another two losses.
Despite the finals at the end of each game, Fuller stayed confident in his team’s abilities.
“We were as good or better as both teams this weekend.”