After a disappointing 7-6-3 record in 2021 — including a subpar 1-4-2 against Ivy opponents, Penn men’s soccer came into 2022 with something to prove. And prove they did: the Quakers won an Ivy title, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and finished with a 13-3-2 overall record.
After a few early struggles, including a 1-0 loss at Albany, Penn won eight straight, and 11 of the final 13 in its regular-season campaign. These included a key 3-2 victory at then-No. 15-ranked Cornell to give the Quakers pole position in the Ivy League standings, and a 3-0 domination at Princeton to give the program its first Ivy League title in nearly a decade.
In the NCAA Tournament, Penn was first matched up against Rutgers, who it thoroughly trounced, 3-0, on a windy Thursday in November at Penn Park. It then traveled to Syracuse, and played the Orange — who entered the tournament ranked third and eventually emerged with a national championship — to a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes before eventually falling in extra time. Indeed, the Quakers nearly scored what would have been a winning goal on a few occasions, including a strike by senior attacker Ben Stitz which hit the crossbar.
Even though he couldn’t score on that occasion, Stitz was a leader for Penn on and off the field this past fall. He led the team with 30 points on 11 goals and eight assists and formed half of the Ivy League’s most lethal attacking duo alongside sophomore attacker Stas Korzeniowski, who also scored 11 goals this season. But focusing on them would diminish the work of the rest of the team, including senior goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen, who anchored a defense that held opponents to under 0.8 goals per game, by far the best in the Ivy League.
Read about the rest of DP Sports' End of the Year Awards for the 2022-23 season here.