Penn men's soccer loses heartbreaker to Cal Poly
Quakers' 3-2 loss marked by missed opportunities, header into own goal
September 14, 2013, 11:59 am·
In the first game of Penn’s men’s soccer’s west coast road trip, the Quakers had a chance to make an early statement against a formidable Cal Poly squad in an effort to move closer towards a top 25 ranking.
The Mustangs had other plans in mind.
Two late goals by Cal Poly in the final 10 minutes handed the Quakers their first loss of the season, 3-2.
The Mustangs (3-2) came out quickly on offense, controlling time of possession and attacking frequently. Meanwhile, Penn’s (2-1) offense struggled to even advance the ball into the attacking half at times.
Despite Cal Poly’s aggressive offensive presence, the shutout was preserved early in the match thanks to excellent defense by Penn’s back line and plenty of diving saves by Tyler Kinn. Yet 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. From outside the penalty box, junior Duke Lacroix tapped in a quick pass inside to junior Louis Schott, who tapped in the cross just outside a diving Mustang defender and the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Wade Hamilton for his third goal of the year.
After the quick exchange of goals, the Quakers started to make their presence felt on both ends of the field, leading to more shots on goals and even a few breakaways that were foiled by Hamilton.
Penn headed into the first half tied 1-1 but was being dominated, 8-0, on corners and shots on goal (10-7).
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 Johnny Dolezal in the 74th minute.
In the 80th minute, freshman Alec Neumann got free on a breakaway but failed to give the Quakers a commanding 3-1 lead.
And then came the turnaround. A minute later, Cal Poly’s John 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.
Mustang 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. Just a stroke after midnight on the east coast, that 3-2 lead became final.
In a match in which the Quakers were outshot, 15-11, and killed on corners, 14-2, there were some flashes of a stingy, physical Penn defense that could pay off later in the season.
The next game for the Quakers is set for Sun., Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. EST, at UC Santa Barbara.