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Sophomore forward Stas Korzeniowski (left), senior forward Ben Stitz (center), and sophomore defender Ben Do (right). Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil , Edwin Mejia

Even during the offseason, Penn men's soccer continues to make headlines.

After having two players selected in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft this past December, the team is now boasting about three Quakers signing with minor league clubs in late February.

Sophomore forward Stas Korzeniowski and sophomore defender Ben Do are the newest recruits for Ballard FC, a semi-professional development-focused soccer club based in Seattle. Do, who was William "Bill" Wilkinson Rookie of the Year and received an All-Ivy honorable mention, started all 18 matches on the Penn backline which averaged 0.78 goals allowed per match. Korzeniowski was named a second-team All-American thanks to an impressive 2022 season for the Quakers. Starting all 18 matches for Penn, he was also named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Ivy. 

Both players will compete from May to July with the team in the Northwest Division of USL League Two. The season will comprise of 12 regular season games and two friendlies — with the season opener against the Oly Town Artesians on May 21. They will join two other Quakers already on the Ballard FC roster — sophomore midfielder Charlie Gaffney and sophomore defender Leo Burney. All four sophomores will look to gain valuable experience playing outside during collegiate soccer's offseason, and bring their valuable experience back to the Red and Blue for the 2023 season.

Ballard FC isn’t the only team to draw on Quaker talent for the team's incoming roster. 2022 graduate and former Quaker forward Ben Stitz has signed with FC Cincinnati 2 for the 2023 season — with an option for 2024. Soon after graduating from Penn in the fall, he was selected in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United. In his senior year, he was team captain, second-team All-Region, and second-team All-Ivy. He led the team to its first Ivy League title since 2013 — securing it an NCAA tournament berth.

While Penn is an academically rigorous environment, the recent contract signings are a testament to the diversity of the Quaker student body — seeing athletes pursuing their dreams outside of collegiate sports. Their journeys could hopefully open up gates for more Penn players to further explore their passions and maybe even go pro.