PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/24/2015 – The University of Pennsylvania Men’s Soccer team stopped a three-game losing streak with a 1 – 1 double-overtime draw against the Yale Bulldogs at Rhodes Field.
After a scoreless first half Yale got the initial score when defender Cameron Riach headed in a free kick from 35 yards out by midfielder Nicky Downs at 54:51. the Quakers battled back just over three minutes later on a goal by freshman forward Jerel Blades. Falling behind by giving up stoppable goals has been a problem for Penn. It happened again which is disappointing to Coach Rudy Fuller.
“It’s a reoccurring theme for us over the past four matches where we haven’t been able to take care of things defensively and it has cost us eight points,” said Fuller. “We dropped a game against Rutgers on an early corner, we dropped our last game, and now this game.”
The Quakers battled back penetrating the Bulldogs zone. In a scramble in the front of the goal freshman back Nigel Blackwood knocked the ball back to Blades who sent the shot inside the far post for the equalizer in the 59th minute.
“When you look at this game, it should have been a 1 – 0 win if we took care of things in front of the net,” said Fuller. “It’s been something we could have said about the past couple of games.”
Each team got chances as the game went on, but nothing crossed the goal line. Penn out-shot Yale by a 16 – 10 margin, 13 – 5 in regulation. Red and Blue goal keeper Etan Mabourakh made 4 saves while Eli net minder Ryan Sampson saved 7.
“The three guys on the heart of the defense, all freshman; Nigel Blackwood, Erik Swenson, and Gideon Metrikin were largely responsible for us coming out with something. They were solid, but what happens between the 18’s doesn’t win games. It’s in the boxes and we didn’t get three points.”
Penn is 2 – 8 – 2 on the season and is 1 – 2 – 1 in the Ivy League while Yale sports a 1 – 10 – 1 record, 0 – 3 – 1 in conference. Penn travels to Brown for the next match, a team that sits just above them in the standings.
Written By: Glenn Papazian