msoccer-recap-kohlbrenner

Sophomore forward Jake Kohlbrenner scored the Quakers lone goal off of a free kick taken by junior midfielder Brandon Bartel.

Credit: Chase Sutton

A heated contest against Yale turned into yet another overtime game for Penn men's soccer.

The Quakers saw a game full of action in New Haven, Conn. on Saturday. In a physical, back-and-forth affair, the the two squads ended the day tied 1-1.

The match was not reminiscent of what Penn (2-4-5, 0-3-1 Ivy) has seen from Yale (6-4-3, 1-1-2) in the past. 

“The last two years we had just blown Yale out. They were trying to turn their program around,” junior midfielder Brandon Bartel said. “[The Elis have] a very big chance to win the Ivy League. When they’re looking at Penn they’re like we need to get points off them; we need to come out flying.”

The match’s first half was defined by a strong coordination from the Bulldogs, who kept possession out of Penn’s hands with rapid play. Despite playing well defensively, the Quakers came out flat and lacked the coordination needed to sustain any sort of offensive pressure.

With 20 minutes left in the half, however, Yale broke through with a goal by Kyle Kenagy with an assist from Logan Sullivan. The score remained 1-0 until halftime.

The Quakers' inability to score in the first half was not due to a lack of effort. Bartel attempted three free kicks in the last 12 minutes of the half, but the Quakers came up empty. The first was met with a header just shy of the goal, the second was saved by Yale sophomore goalkeeper Tom Wallenstein, and the final was sent back by Yale’s defense.

Both teams saw their fair share of fouls, with several players on both sides suffering injuries. Collisions and combative play meant players on both sides had to deal with an interrupted match flow.

In the second half, the Quakers began to apply more offensive pressure. Several shot attempts were made in the beginning of the half, with the majority going long. The physical play continued, with sophomore midfielder Amado Lozano going down five minutes into the half with a hamstring injury that pulled him from the game. A few minutes later, senior defender Erumuse Momoh received the first yellow card of the game after a collision.

The Red and Blue still continued their offensive push, focusing on controlling the ball in the Bulldogs’ half.

"After [the goal] we took a breath and relied on getting the ball into dangerous spaces,” Bartel said. “We really pressed them as a full 11 rather than a couple of individuals.”

The stop-and-start play continued throughout the second half. The Bulldogs were able to stunt Penn’s momentum by kicking the ball out of bounds, even three times in one minute, as Penn slowly progressed up the field. 

With less than 10 minutes left in the regulation, the Red and Blue were able to take advantage of these chances. Bartel was afforded another free kick attempt after a foul from Yale midfielder Miguel Yuste. After Bartel sent the ball into a crowd of Penn players, sophomore forward Jake Kohlbrenner was able to find the back of the net and tie the game.

Toward the end of the half, the Bulldogs began to match Penn’s offensive push. Despite several dangerous runs from both teams, no goals were scored in the final minutes and the match proceeded into overtime.

Yale carried this momentum into the first overtime period, maintaining most of the possession. Both teams went the full 10 minutes without scoring, and the game entered its final period.

The Quakers matched this pressure in the second overtime, and kept possession in Yale territory. Again, however, neither team scored and the match ended a 1-1 draw.

Given the pace of play this game, a tie might be good news for Penn. 

“For us right now, a tie is a great result for being away on the road,” Bartel said. 

Penn will look to carry this momentum into their match against cross-city rival Temple on Tuesday.

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