Penn was defeated 2-1 by in-state rival Penn State in a hard-fought match to mark its first loss of the season.
Going into the game, the Red and Blue (2-1) were hoping to reverse their recent history against opponent Penn State (3-1-1). While the teams have not matched up since 2015, the Nittany Lions owned a 7-1-0 record against the Quakers in their most recent stretch of eight games.
"'We feel very fortunate to be back, and it's long overdue in a lot of ways," coach Brian Gill said. "We're really happen that people are coming out to watch the guys. They put a lot of time into this over the course of their careers, and it's rewarding to come out and play in front of a big crowd."
Senior captain Isaac McGinnis got the action started early, scoring an unassisted goal in the 9th minute on Penn’s first shot of the match. The opening minutes of the match featured fast-paced, up-and-down play, as the teams traversed both sides of the pitch, looking for quick scoring opportunities.
"Every game this season, we've been able to get ourselves on top [early]," McGinnis said. "It's big to start a game like that — it gives the team a big jump."
The teams settled down for the remainder of the half, as each struggled to get clean shots on goal. During the few opportunities in which the Nittany Lions did advance the ball to the Red and Blue’s box, senior goalkeeper Dane Jacomen warded off the opposing players’ attacks with clutch saves, finishing the first half with three saves.
The Pennsylvania native started in goal tonight against Penn State, while junior goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen started in the Quakers’ latest win against Colgate. Jacomen’s key saves kept the Red and Blue’s lead intact going into the second half.
Early in the second half, Penn State tied the game at 1-1, after an error by Jacomen in goal. The keeper failed to secure the ball after leaving the box, leading to an easy goal for the Nittany Lions. The goal was scored in the 52nd minute by junior midfielder Andrew Privett, good for his third of the young season.
The game intensified in the second half; clean opportunities at goal were rare, as strong defensive play and well-timed tackles kept both teams at bay. Possessions were hard fought, as the scrappiness between players increased. The teams compiled 19 fouls total throughout the match.
The game was effectively iced in the 79th minute by Penn State forward Liam Butts, who sent a right-footed strike off the left crossbar and past Jacomen to give Penn State a 2-1 lead going into the final minutes.
Besides McGinnis’ early goal in the 9th minute, Penn had no shots on goal throughout the rest of the game.
"I don't think we made it easy on them, which was one of our objectives, and we came out making that happen," Gill said. "But obviously we don't want a season full of close games, we want to be able to come out of that game with a result."
The Quakers will have a short turnaround this weekend, as they stay home at Rhodes Field and face off against Loyola University Maryland on Sept. 13. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
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