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Penn men's soccer sophomore Alex Touche scored the game-winning goal in the Quakers' 3-2 overtime win over Monmouth.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Sometimes its better to be tall than to be good. On Friday against Monmouth, sophomore defenseman Alex Touche was both.

In Penn men’s soccer’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Hawks, Touche scored the game winning goal and helped create another goal to earn him recognition as DP Sports Player of the Week.

The London native made his presence felt early and often in Penn’s season-opener. Fifteen minutes after Penn freshman Joey Bhangida scored the game’s first goal, Touche helped the Quakers double their lead to 2-0 by redirecting a corner kick with his head towards the front of the goal. After the ball ricocheted off the Monmouth goalie, senior captain Jerel Blades kicked it into the back of the net.

Monmouth wouldn’t go down easily, though, scoring two set-piece goals to tie the game and force extra time.

Eight minutes into the first golden-goal overtime period, Touche’s head struck again. This time, he used every inch of his 6’4’’ frame to out-jump his defender and send home junior Brandon Bartel’s free kick and new head coach Brian Gill a win in his first game at the helm of the team.

Looking ahead, Gill should be excited about what Touche will be able to offer the team over the next three years. Touche was named Second-Team All-Ivy last year as a freshman, and ended the 2017 season against Harvard the same way he ended this game: with a goal.