Following a huge win last week, Penn men’s soccer needs to avoid a trap game.
The Quakers (6-6, 2-1 Ivy) will hit the road this Saturday and look to best a struggling Yale team standing in the way of Penn’s goal of a second straight Ivy title.
Despite the recent losses for Yale (1-9-2, 0-3), Penn coach Rudy Fuller refuses to give his team a clear edge going into the match.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Fuller said. “I don’t think there’s much separating any Ivy League teams, and we’re not reading much into Yale’s record because based on our prior encounters we’re expecting a really tight match.
One player who has stood out in a big way this season, and who is likely to be a key in Penn’s hopeful success against the Bulldogs, is junior midfielder Forrest Clancy .
Clancy has had two goals and six assists this season for a career high total of 10 points, with one of those goals being arguably the most important strike for the Red and Blue thus far — a game winning direct free kick from 35 yards out against conference rival Cornell which Fuller described as “world class”.
Last year, Clancy started only two games and registered only one point. This season, he has played in all 12 games — starting nine of them — and is on pace to register just over 14 points.
“Forrest has continued to develop over the years and he’s worked really hard to get himself a bigger role on the team,” Fuller said. “He’s played more minutes and it’s paying off for him and it’s paying off for us. We’re excited about how good he can become over the next year and a half he has in the program.”
As a freshman, Clancy tore his ACL and, as a result, missed the entire spring offseason with the team. Clancy cites his healthy offseason of training as the main reason for his increased productivity this year.
“That’s a three-month period where you develop physically a lot and I missed out on that,” Clancy said. “And so my fitness has been a lot better this year than it ever has been before so that’s just allowed me to get involved in games way more. I knew I needed to make more runs going forward this year and that’s something I’ve definitely worked on in games.”
Largely thanks to Clancy, the Quakers are currently tied for second place in the conference, and he has set his team goals high for the remainder of the season.
“We want to win the Ivy League right now — that’s what we’re focusing on,” Clancy said.
The matchup with Yale will mark the halfway point in the Ivy League season, and Clancy asserts that the match is a must-win.
“We have five games left, four of them are Ivy League and we need to win all of those games,” Clancy said. “If we do that, we’ll make the NCAA, which will be really cool. We did that last year so we want to go higher and further in the tournament than we did last year.”
Fuller is confident in his team’s ability, but he knows that his guys must be sharp if they want to advance past the Bulldogs and up the Ivy League standings.
“We know a lot of their players. We recruited a lot of their players,” Fuller said. “So I think it’s going be another really hotly contested tight Ivy League encounter.”Comments powered by Disqus
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