After conceding four goals to both Villanova and Dartmouth during a three-game losing skid, Penn men’s soccer righted the ship on Saturday against Yale.
The Quakers blanked the Bulldogs by a score of 3-0 on goals from Dami Omitaomu, Gideon Metrikin and Alec Neumann. For Omitaomu and Metrikin, their goals were the first in their collegiate careers.
Despite the Red and Blue being outshot, 11-6, Penn (4-4-5, 2-2 Ivy) was clinical with their chances.
Yale (2-7-2, 1-2-1) hit the crossbar on a header just two minutes, but instead of sitting back, the Quakers responded with an offensive attack of their own, culminating in Omitaomu deflecting in a Erumuse Momoh cross just over five minutes into the first half.
Metrikin in the 29th minutes scored from 25 yards out thanks to a Joe Swenson cross, and captain Alec Nuemann scored in the 65th minute to put the game out of reach.
Despite the offensive outburst, the team was proud of their clean sheet.
“I think the shutout was something the team was really focused on,” Penn coach Rudy Fuller said. “We were disappointed with the goals we conceded in the prior two matches. And obviously to get the three goals in this game was nice too.”
The Quakers had to get past a Yale team that came out hot from the opening whistle, peppering the Penn nets with early shots.
“The number of Yale shots came really early, maybe in the first five to 10 minutes,” Fuller said. “It took us a little bit to find out feet and get into the game, but they settled in very well. Once we got that first goal, it really settled us down.”
This late in the season, most teams know which players to rely on for the highest goal production. For the Quakers though, goals in this game came from both first timers (Omitaomu and Metrikin) and the expected scoring veteran (Nuemann).
“It’s really important for Gideon and Dami and guys like to commit to going forward. I said it all along, this is a process,” Fuller said. This team is continuing to figure out who it is and how good it can be, and this past week has really tested that. To come out with a 3-0 on the road in a conference game is a testament to the hard work they’ve put in.”
Maybe the best part of the night for the Red and Blue, other than the win of course, was the camaraderie of Penn Athletics on the road in New Haven. With football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey all at Yale over the weekend, the teams had a chance to support one another even though they were on the road.
“We were really, really pleased to get around and fit in the football game last night, along with field hockey and have women soccer stick around to lend their support to our guys,” Fuller said. “It was very special and I think it shows you what type of community we have in Penn athletics with athletes supporting athletes.”
Between the scoring and the support, Saturday was a great night for Penn men’s soccer.