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Sophomore defender Leo Burney during the game against Rider at Rhodes Field on Sept. 2. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

The de-facto Ivy League men’s soccer championship took place on Saturday, and it did not disappoint. Penn ended up on top, 3-2, on an 89th minute goal by sophomore defender Leo Burney, in a back and forth matchup with No. 15 Cornell. 

Penn (9-1-1, 3-0 Ivy) and Cornell (9-3, 2-1) both came into the game undefeated in the Ivy League, with Penn notching victories over Yale and Dartmouth, and Cornell defeating Harvard and Brown. Cornell had moved into the top 25 two weeks ago after upsetting No. 7 Syracuse, and was looking like the top team in the Ancient Eight. Penn, on the other hand, brought a seven-game winning streak into the matchup, and had received votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll. 

Cornell kicked things off with a 14th minute goal by defender Connor Drought, his second of the season, but Penn quickly knotted things up with an Aaron Messer goal in the 19th minute. 

The two teams traded shots on goal, with senior goalie Nick Christoffersen recording a save in the 27th minute to keep the game even at one apiece.

In the 36th minute, sophomore Stas Korzeniowski got the ball, raced down the length of the field, and scored, his seventh goal of the season, putting Penn ahead 2-1 going into the half. 

Cornell finally broke through in the 58th minute, with fifth-year senior Emeka Eneli putting one in to move the game to 2-2. Penn had a chance in the 76th minute, as Isaac McGinnis passed to Brandon Curran off a free kick and Curran hit a header toward an open net, but a Cornell defender slid across in front of the goal and knocked it away, keeping the score at 2-2.

The game appeared to be heading to a draw, but on Penn’s last chance, in the 89th minute, leading scorer Ben Stitz crossed from the right side into the box and Leo Burney put in the game-winning goal to keep Penn on top 3-2, as the Quakers knocked off Cornell and put themselves in position for their first Ivy League crown since 2013.

The victory was the Quakers' eighth straight — the most consecutive wins in program history since 1972 — and they moved to 9-1-1 on the season, the first time in over a decade the team has won nine games. 

Next up, they look to Drexel on Tuesday before four straight Ivy League games to wrap up their season.