Fresh off their first Ivy win of the season, the men’s soccer team plays its first home Ivy League game this weekend against No. 17 Penn (10–2–0, 3–0–0 Ivy) at Reese Stadium on Saturday. Nearing the halfway point of the Ivy League portion of the season, the Bulldogs (2–9–1, 1–2–0 Ivy) are coming off a three-game Ivy League road trip.
The Elis secured their first Ivy win last Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., when they shut out the Big Red 1–0. Captain and forward Andy Shorten ’11 connected with defender Chris Dennen ’12 in a give-and-go that resulted in a goal for Shorten right before halftime. The win marked the second for the team this season, something they will look to repeat against the Quakers this weekend.
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“I thought that we played the whole 90 minutes against Cornell,” Shorten said. “We didn’t have any lapses in defense and we obviously found a way to score and hang onto the game. We had to battle to get that result so hopefully we can take all of that into the game on Saturday.”
The Penn squad will be a tough test for the Bulldogs as they have dominated in their Ivy contests and have recorded just two losses so far this season. Both of the Quakers’ losses were by a one-goal margin. Penn has come out on top in the last two matchups with the Elis, dating back to 2008. As different as the Quakers’ season results have been from the Elis’, both teams have in common the fact that they defeated Cornell by a single goal.
“Penn is always good, and they are 10–2 so they will definitely be very difficult,” Shorten said. “We’re expecting good competition.”
The Bulldogs may have to watch out for Quaker freshman Stephen Baker. The forward is responsible for almost half the Quaker goals, recording seven total so far in his rookie season. The next-highest goal scorer for the Quakers is sophomore midfielder Travis Cantrell, who scored the single goal last year that handed the Bulldogs a 1–0 loss.
“Last year is last year, this year is a new competition,” Shorten said. “We’ve lost to them quite a bit over the past few years so we know what to expect and it will be a battle when it comes to game time.”
The home team will look for their second consecutive shutout this weekend as they fight to come out on top against a highly ranked Penn team. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.