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09-06-21-mens-soccer-vs-colgate-joey-bhangdia-kylie-cooper

Midfielder Joey Bhangdia picked up right where he left off as leader of Penn's offense.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

In its first match at Rhodes Field since Nov. 16, 2019, Penn men’s soccer dominated Colgate 3-0 as the Red and Blue’s upperclassmen paved the way. Graduate student Joey Bhangdia and senior midfielder Ben Stitz spearheaded the Quaker attack, combining for three goals and an assist. 

The meeting marked only the second-ever matchup between Penn (2-0-0) and Colgate (0-4-0), with the first one taking place in 1974. The match also marked the Quakers’ first return to Rhodes Field since Nov. 16, 2019, when the Red and Blue defeated Harvard 2-0. 

After narrowly beating Fairleigh Dickinson in an away opener, the Quakers felt the comfort of home as the team limited Colgate to just one shot on goal, which was saved by junior goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen. 

However, the first half was a tight, physical contest with 11 total fouls being called, five whistled on Colgate and six on Penn. In the 27th minute, Bhangdia established Penn’s 1-0 lead after shaking his defender and sending a strike past Colgate’s goalkeeper Andrew Cooke for an unassisted goal.

The remainder of the first half was close, but Penn came out shooting in the second. In the 53rd minute, senior forward Matt Leigh headed a pass from graduate student RC Williams, right to the feet of senior Ben Stitz. The midfielder found the back of the net to add another goal to Penn's tally. 

The game was effectively ended in the 70th minute when Bhangdia added another goal to increase the Quaker lead to 3-0, this one assisted by Stitz and freshman forward Charlie Gaffney. Both of Bhangdia’s goals found their way into the right corner of Cooke’s net. 

Bhangdia, the leading scorer for the Quakers in 2019, picked up right where he left off as leader of Penn's offense. The Quakers finished the match with six shots on goal to Colgate's one, and the Red and Blue controlled the pace of play throughout. 

The Quakers have won both of their games this season, causing them to jump to ninth place on the United Soccer Coaches regional poll. Penn hosts No. 17 Penn State and Loyola (Md.) on Friday and Monday, respectively, as they hope to increase their win streak to four games. 

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