Penn men's soccer looking to wake up offense against Villanova
Penn has only scored three time in its last three games
September 23, 2013, 7:10 pm · Updated September 23, 2013, 8:39 pm·
Coming off a tough loss to Georgetown, the Penn men’s soccer team is looking to rebound.
Will a matchup with city rival Villanova be the trick?
Tuesday, the Quakers (2-3) will travel to face off against a tough Wildcats team (2-3-1), hoping to snap a three-game losing streak that stretches back all the way to Sept. 13, a 3-2 loss to Cal Poly.
But Penn’s California road trip is a distant memory. For now, the Quakers are focused on establishing local dominance.
“Any city game is a big one,” coach Rudy Fuller said. “Our goal every year is to be the best team in the city.”
After getting off to a hot start, Penn’s offense has sputtered of late. After scoring seven goals in their first two games (both victories), the Red and Blue have scored just three goals since and were shut out last Thursday by No. 19 Georgetown.
Coach Fuller sees plenty of reasons to stay the course, though.
“We were fairly pleased with the two performances in California,” he said. “The Georgetown game had less to do with strategy and more to do with just being ready to play.”
Against the Wildcats, Penn cannot afford to show up with less than 100 percent focus.
Though Villanova has alternated wins and losses over their past four games, the Wildcats finished 12-6-2 last year and return two of their top scorers in junior forward Hayden Harr and junior midfielder Oscar Umar.
Stepping up for the Wildcats this season are sophomore midfielder Sean Sheridan — who is coming off a freshman season where he assisted on a team-leading five goals — and senior midfielder Adetomiwa Adewole, who currently leads the team in points this year with five.
The Quakers are hoping to counter with an offensive surge from one of their best players.
Sophomore forward Duke Lacroix has scored only one goal on six shots this season. A strong showing by Lacroix opposite fellow forward Stephen Baker could reignite Penn’s quick-strike offense.
“Going on the road, a goal early would definitely settle our nerves,” he said.
In the past, early goals against have been the key for the Quakers.
Over their past seven matchups with Villanova, Penn has scored first in four of those games, posting a 3-1 record.Their only loss came last year, when the Quakers fell 5-3, despite a goal and an assist from Lacroix.
But Penn isn’t about to focus on the past. For the Quakers, every game — especially against a city opponent — is a battle.
“With the pressure that both teams are going to put on each other in a city match, it’s going to be a dogfight.” Fuller said.
h2: SEE ALSO