Despite the torrential rain, it looked like Penn’s goal drought might never end.
Coming off two 1-0 losses to UMBC and Dartmouth, Penn men's soccer was looking to turn its momentum around and win its last nonconference game of the season against Drexel. Scoreless in regulation, it took the Quakers six minutes of overtime to find the back of the net before they knocked off the Dragons, 1-0.
The goal — off the foot of freshman midfielder Jack Rosener — ended Penn's 375-minute goal drought and snapped its losing streak at two. With this victory, Penn (5-5-2, 1-1-1 Ivy) nabbed the Philadelphia Soccer Six title, shared with Villanova (8-5-1). This is Penn’s first title win since 2014.
Although the rain didn’t let up, the Quakers didn’t let the conditions demotivate them.
“I just think the group is really committed and really well prepared, so we try not to let any distractions get in the way,” Rosener said. “I think, even though we came off two tough results, we were still really confident in ourselves and really confident in our abilities and we didn’t let any distraction stop us.”
The Quakers and the Dragons (5-7-2) went back and forth in the rainy first half, with chances at either end but neither team able to get on the board.
Penn’s two best chances in the first half came from junior midfielder Joey Bhangdia, who sent one shot wide in the second minute of the game and narrowly hit the post with a second shot in the 13th minute.
Drexel’s offense couldn’t seem to locate the net, sending two shots high and wide. In his second career start, freshman goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen made his lone save of the game in the 42nd minute on a header shot from Drexel defender Anthony Amore.
The second half saw the physicality of the game ramp up. Drexel collected three yellow cards and Penn received one, while numerous fouls throughout the half presented opportunities for both sides to take the lead.
Drexel’s most dangerous chance of the game came in the 48th minute, when a Quaker defender headed away a shot from Laolu Daranijo right before it crossed the goal line.
The Quakers had several chances in the second half but failed to capitalize. A free kick by sophomore midfielder Ben Stitz in the 87th minute was saved, and his rebound was sent wide by Drexel keeper Stephen Kopsachilis. As the drought continued, the Quakers and Dragons headed to overtime.
The Red and Blue came onto the field for the third time with a vengeance. In the 97th minute of the game, junior forward Jake Kohlbrenner redirected a long pass from sophomore defender Brendan Hanrahan toward the far post. Rosener was there to bury the ball in the back of the net to pick up his first career goal and win the game for Penn.
“It felt really good to contribute to the team, and especially get a goal in overtime,” Rosener said. “I think it’s a really good win for the team, because we’ve had two tough results against UMBC and Dartmouth, back to back, where we felt we played pretty good but just couldn’t put one in the back of the net. So it felt really good to get back to our winning ways.”
With this match concluding nonconference play, the Quakers will now set their sights on the remainder of their Ivy League schedule, which will continue with a meeting against No. 24 Yale at home on Saturday night.
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