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M Soccer v St. Francis #18Samuel Chamovitz

Penn men's soccer coach Rudy Fuller and the Quakers are decidedly happy that Sam Chamovitz realized that he needed new academic opportunities. Chamovitz, in his first year at Penn after transferring from Bucknell, provides the Quakers with a fresh face -- not to mention a much-needed scoring threat at the forward position. In the first two games Penn has played -- a 1-0 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) last Friday and a 4-1 defeat at the hands of American on Sunday -- the junior from Sewickley, Pa., has impressed Fuller and his troops with his breakaway speed and his knack for creating potential Quakers scoring chances. Chamovitz scored the lone goal in the loss to American, and Fuller, for one, is confident that the addition of Chamovitz has brought a new twist to Penn's offense -- and will eventually bring more goals. "Sammy's a guy that's proven he can score goals at the Division I level," he said. "He's added a special dimension to our team up top, and he's given the rest of the guys on the team a lot of confidence that we're going to be able to score goals." That confidence is not unfounded. Chamovitz brings an impressive resume with him from Bucknell. Last year, he scored 11 goals for the Bison and was a first team All-Patriot League selection. Considering that Penn's leading scorer last season was forward Mike McElwain, with five tallies, the arrival of Chamovitz is a boon to a team that lost six games by one goal last year and is looking to turn the corner when it comes to pulling out the close ones. "He's a goal scorer. He's a flat-out goal scorer," Fuller said. "He's got a nose for the goal. He's got good speed, he's determined, he's very crafty and he has a knack for putting the ball in the net." Chamovitz's teammate, midfielder Alex Maasry, who scored the lone goal in Friday's win over St. Francis, also feels that something important has been added to the team. "Sam's really had a big impact on the team," he said. "Last year, kind of the missing link was a goal-scorer... so Sam's playing the point man for us right now.... I think he's going to be that guy this year. He'll be putting the ball away. He's going to help us win a lot more games this year." Chamovitz is certain that the Penn offense will become a force as soon as he and fellow forward William Libby learn each other's game and how to feed off of each other's styles. "Once we get our chemistry down, we'll be dangerous up top," Chamovitz said. But winning games and scoring goals was not necessarily the only thing on Chamovitz's mind when he decided to transfer -- but the thought was there. "Penn [is] a better academic institution," Chamovitz, an Economics major, said. "And the Ivy League is a better conference, a better chance of getting into the [NCAA] tournament. The team here's really got potential in the next two years to do something to get to the tournament. [It would] get my soccer dreams and my academic dreams fulfilled." Chamovitz, who said he was happy that he made the transfer, also sees tangible differences in the soccer atmospheres of Bucknell and Penn. "The program [at Penn], in general, is more professional, I think," he said. "It's nicer, better equipment. Facilities-wise, it'd be nice to get bigger crowds, maybe advertise the games a little more, make the field a better atmosphere for both fans and players. I think Bucknell had a great field and a great atmosphere. But [the team] and the coaching staff [are] top-notch around here." Fuller, leader of that top-notch staff, is happy not only that he added a scorer in Chamovitz, but also that he added a known commodity. "You really can never tell how someone's is going to make the jump to college ball," he said. "You think you have a guy pegged one way or the other, that he is or isn't going to be able to do it right away, and people surprise you. So you never know with a freshman, but with Sammy, he's done it for two years at this level and he knows what it takes." While Chamovitz knows what it takes to score, he also knows what it takes to fit in with his new teammates, as he brings levity and looseness to a team that already has established, veteran leaders in players like McElwain and captain Henry Chen. "I joked with [Sam] that he was being too unselfish," Fuller said after Friday's game. "He was trying to make too many friends out there on the field, when what we're asking of him is to be a little more selfish and score goals." Maasry feels that Chamovitz has fit in with the rest of the Quakers beautifully. "We had a captain's practice [in the] first four days of preseason down in Ocean City, N.J., and he came and fit right in the scene," Maasry said. "Everyone really likes him on the team. He's a great guy, always wears this funky Heineken hat, so we love him and really enjoy having him on the team. "He's a really funny guy, he's a very laid back, casual-type guy. He's not real loud, but will always make a crack here and there. He's a fun-loving guy, and he's good to be around."

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