After scoring in only two of its first five games, the men’s soccer team (2-6-1, 0-1 Ivy) has scored in each of its last three. Although it did not pick up a win over this recent stretch, it may find more success at Penn (2-8, 0-1 Ivy) Saturday evening.
While the talent level difference between No. 12 St. John’s and Columbia was evident on the scoresheet last Tuesday, the gap between the Lions and No. 19 Brown was not as obvious. The Light Blue outshot the Bears through 45 minutes as both sides entered halftime scoreless. But the second half was a different story, as Brown boasted a heavy shot advantage and scored twice to come away with a 2-1 win.
“I think after halftime, we actually started to gain more confidence and we started to now get more guys into the midfield, more guys into the attacking third of the field,” Lions’ head coach Kevin Anderson said after the game. “The effort to do that and the effort to play for 90 minutes on our part was a good sign for our team.”
Anderson said Brown’s goals shifted the dynamic of the game. The first, off a penalty kick, may have affected the sides emotionally, but also forced the Lions to take some risks to try to score. This was especially prominent after Brown extended its lead to two. Freshman midfielder Antonio Matarazzo did score shortly thereafter to cut Columbia’s deficit back to one, but he and his team could not muster up a tying goal.
The Quakers, like the Lions, have a minus-four goal differential on the season, but on 48 total goals for and against (the Lions are minus-four on 18 goals). Sophomore midfielder/forward Duke Lacroix, junior forward Stephen Baker, and senior midfielder/forward Travis Cantrell led Penn’s dangerous attack with five goals each. While Lacroix and Baker each needed over 40 shots to hit their goal totals, Cantrell has only taken 13.
Last weekend, Penn fell, 3-2, at No. 18 Cornell. Sophomore midfielder Louis Schott gave the Quakers the lead early, but the Big Red, winner of eight consecutive games coming into the contest, answered with three goals of its own. Cantrell added a fluke goal in the second half, but Penn dropped its sixth one-goal decision of the season. It has allowed at least two goals in every game this season.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia.