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Senior captain Henry Chen, seen here against St. Francis, scored the clincher Saturday in Penn's 2-1 victory over East Carolina. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

Before she was a shoe company, Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. And at the tournament bearing her name, her smile did not completely escape the Penn men's soccer team this weekend. The Quakers split two games at the University of Richmond-Nike Challenge Cup Tournament -- losing in humiliating fashion, 6-1, to host Richmond on Friday before coming back to emerge victorious over East Carolina on Saturday afternoon, 2-1. The two decisions leave the Quakers with a 2-2 overall record in the young 2000 season. Like the Union soldiers of the Civil War, the Quakers' initial attempt to march on Richmond was disastrous. After a 4-1 defeat to American last Sunday which many Penn players said could have been won, the Red and Blue were looking to rebound against a quality Spiders team that would be playing in front of its home fans. "We were looking forward to learning a lesson from a pretty bad loss against American," Penn goalkeeper Jeff Groeber said. "We were looking out to come and get a victory, and we just didn't get the performance that we needed to. That was extremely disappointing." With Penn in the doldrums, the Spiders put the game away relatively early. Richmond forward Ken Holiday opened the scoring at the 4:41 mark of the game, putting one past Groeber from close range. Groeber made five saves while giving up four goals before being lifted in the 77th minute of play. Richmond had a 3-0 lead before Penn sophomore defender Robb Jankura converted a crossing pass from midfielder and team captain Henry Chen into a goal in the 33rd minute. After giving up a goal to Richmond forward Ben Corfield at 39:43, the Quakers found themselves down 4-1 at halftime. Although Penn did a better job of containing the Spiders attack for most of the second half, the three-goal deficit proved to be too much. Richmond sealed the game in the 82nd minute when forward Nate Adams put the ball into an open net. The Spiders added a penalty-kick goal with 2:51 left to play to complete the blowout. Richmond's offensive domination of the Quakers was complete. The Spiders took 20 shots on goal, whereas the Quakers took eight. "I think that was one of the most disappointing losses I've ever experienced," Groeber said. "It was just the fact that we didn't come out when we knew what we had to do and we just didn't execute and we just didn't give [the] effort and heart that was necessary. "I think everyone on the field didn't want to be on the field at that point.... If we gave the effort that we needed to, that wouldn't happen. We knew we were embarrassed for ourselves. That's just not a good feeling." After a night of angrily stewing in their own juices, the Quakers came back on Saturday to defeat East Carolina in the tournament's second round. The Pirates were fresh off of a 2-0 victory over St. Bonaventure in their first contest of the tournament, but any momentum they might have gained from a win over the Bonnies was quickly snuffed out by a suffocating Quakers defensive effort. "We felt bad for the East Carolina team, because after this bad loss, we were looking to go out there and just basically beat the living crap out of the next team we were playing," Groeber said. Senior forward Mike McElwain, who led the Quakers in goals last year, opened the scoring at 43:22 when he put a pass from fellow forward Evan Anderson past the Pirates goalkeeper and into the net. Chen sealed the deal in the 78th minute when he scored the second goal of the game off of a pass from halfback Austin Deng. Pirates forward Joe Ellington scored from 15 yards out at 85:25, but the game was already over. "We ended up splitting [with a win and a loss on the weekend], which is good, but obviously we would like to win both games and our team feels that we should have won both games," Groeber said.

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