Penn men’s soccer came into the 2013 season on the heels of a bad 2012 season. Coach Rudy Fuller put his team through a tough training schedule to get the players ready for what became a banner season. The Quakers’ 8–8–2 record doesn’t tell the full story, as the team completely reversed its finish from 2012, winning the Ivy title and making the NCAA Tournament. Here are the top moments from that campaign.
1. The title
What else could possibly top the list? The Quakers went into the final day of the season playing for the Ivy League title in Cambridge. Penn and Harvard had finished at the bottom of the Ancient Eight the year before, so the stage was new for both squads. In the fifth minute, then-senior back Nicky Yin contributed what would ultimately be the winning goal and seven minutes later, Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year Duke Lacroix added a goal of his own. Then-sophomore Max Polkinhorne shut out the Crimson to send Penn to the NCAA Tournament.
2. To OT and beyond
No, it wasn’t a win, but a trip to the NCAA Tournament was a major step forward for the Red and Blue after just three wins in 2012. The Quakers took Providence to the brink in the first round of the tournament, going to penalty kicks tied at one. While the Quakers ultimately fell, it took a strong effort from Friars goalkeeper Keasel Broome to keep Penn out of the second round.
3. A clean start
After a solid performance in nonconference play, the Quakers went all in for their Ivy matches, starting with a tight game against defending champion Cornell. Penn once again got a clean sheet from its goalkeeper — Polkinhorne finished the match with seven saves — and a goal from back Jonny Dolezal gave the Red and Blue a 1–0 win.
4. A solid beginning
After struggling in 2012, Penn was in need of a strong start to the season. The Quakers got just that. Playing games in Penn Park against Stony Brook and Sacred Heart, Penn’s offense exploded for seven goals while senior keeper Tyler Kinn didn’t give up a goal in either match. Then-freshman Alec Neumann helped lead the onslaught with two goals against Sacred Heart.
5. A better finish
Penn’s Ivy title hopes looked to be slipping out of its fingers when Yale traveled to Rhodes Field. The Elis held a 2–1 advantage late in the match before a pair of senior captains saved the day for Penn. In the 87th minute, Dolezal tied the match off assists from Baker and Austin Kinn. The goal forced overtime, where — in the 94th minute — Stephen Baker ended a six-match goalless streak with the game-winning tally, moving Penn to 3–0–1 in Ivy play at the time.
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