Penn men's soccer coach Rudy Fuller felt that with the transfer of sniper Sam Chamovitz from Bucknell, his team would be able to score more important goals. On Saturday afternoon at Rhodes Field, Fuller proved correct. Chamovitz scored the biggest goal that Penn has received in years, and put the Quakers ahead of Harvard for good, as they beat the Crimson by a score of 2-1. The win was Penn's first Ivy League triumph since September 13, 1997, a span which included 26 Ancient Eight contests. The goal that liberated Penn from the monkey on its back came with about five minutes to play, when Chamovitz received a feed from forward Evan Anderson and put it past Harvard goalkeeper Dan Mejias. The goal broke a 1-1 tie and condemned the Quakers to five minutes of clock-watching. "You want the game to finish," Fuller said. "You want the win. Especially for the seniors, you want the win so badly for them, to end their careers on a high note. So you definitely focus on the game, because you don't want to give anything away, and you want to make sure everything is taken care of." The Quakers stifled Harvard in the last five minutes, and an offseason of jubilation began. Penn opened the scoring 27:31 into the first half, when midfielder Louis Lazar rocketed a shot from outside of the 18-yard box over Mejias' head and into the top of the middle of the net. Lazar's goal came on a pass from fellow midfielder Alex Maasry, who was credited with the assist. Penn went into the half with a 1-0 lead and high spirits, but in the second half Harvard did its best to make Penn sweat. Defender/midfielder Ladd Fritz scored in the 63rd minute of play to make it a 1-1 game. The ball had been kicked into the box from outside it, floating harmlessly over Penn goalkeeper Jeff Groeber's head. Most on the field felt that the dump-in was going out of bounds. But the wind kept the ball from gliding out of play, and a Harvard player was able to get to it and cross it to Fritz, who put it in. Even though the Quakers received what they felt was a bad break, they didn't allow Harvard to take control of the game. "People on our team didn't really get down," Penn forward Mike McElwain said. "It sort of sparked them to play that much harder." Harvard would have three golden scoring opportunities in a five-minute span after the equalizing goal, but Groeber and the Penn defense held, and Harvard was never able to to take a lead. The win marked the first time the juniors, sophomores and freshmen on the team have won in the Ivies. Perhaps more significantly, the end result was also a long-awaited second Ivy victory for seniors McElwain, Henry Chen and Austin Deng in the final game of their collegiate careers. "This is a good way to go out," McElwain said. "It was a great feeling. I wish I had the chance to keep dreaming, and not only make [it] a one-game win, but win the Ivies, or something like that. It would be incredible."Comments powered by Disqus
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