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Though the men’s soccer team has been blanked in its last two games, its offensive prowess will be a key advantage when Penn heads to New York to play Columbia on Saturday.

The Lions (4-5-1, 1-0 Ivy) rank dead-last in the Ivy League in shots per game (11.0), well behind the conference-leading Quakers (5-4-1, 0-1), who average a gaudy 18.4 shots. To give more perspective, Penn’s explosive trio of senior Christian Barreiro, sophomore Stephen Baker, and freshman Duke Lacroix average 12.3 shots themselves.

And if the last two games are any indication, Barreiro and Lacroix in particular are primed to score against a Columbia defense ranked sixth-worst in terms of goals allowed per game. Barreiro registered a game-high eight shots against Cornell — despite the team’s 1-0 loss — while Lacroix put four shots on goal against an elite Penn State team three days later.

Even so, the Quakers cannot enter this game with puffed chests — they need a win.

Penn dropped its Ivy opener to Cornell in heartbreaking fashion — losing on an 88th-minute goal — and a loss to the Lions, who are fresh off a win against Brown, will put the Red and Blue’s title hopes in serious jeopardy.

Penn lost just two games all of last season, but even then couldn’t claim the top spot, which went to undefeated Princeton.

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