Men’s soccer defeats University of Pennsylvania with a 4-0 shutout
Tight defensive play from AU's forwards and midfielders helped lead the Eagles to a firm victory over University of Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon at Reeves Field. While maintaining control of the ball throughout most of the first half, AU scored three times then added a fourth goal in the second half to secure the win. In addition to their goals, the Eagles also demonstrated their prowess by outshooting the Quakers 10-2 in the first half and 15-5 overall.
Junior midfielder Panos Nakhid began the scoring rout in the 15th minute by dribbling the ball past Penn senior goalkeeper Max Polkinhorne for his second goal of the season. Five minutes later, sophomore forward Vinny Barone earned his own goal, scoring off of a one-timer from the side of the net. Minutes before the halftime interval, the Eagles pulled ahead 3-0 with sophomore forward Nick Sifrin’s header off a cross from junior forward Joe Iraola.
“Well [we’re] obviously pleased when you get an early goal or a couple of early goals,” head coach Todd West said. “It opens the game up.”
Following Nakhid’s strike off of the cross bar, the Eagles maintained possession of the ball through strong defense and physicality, allowing them to keep the ball mostly in Penn’s half of the field through the first half. Sophomore forward Joel Hart added the fourth goal of the game and his second of the season early in the second half after sending the ball into the net off an assist from senior midfielder Liam Robley.
After Hart’s early second half goal, the match evened out as Penn stayed within two shots of AU. Both teams continued their physical style of play up until the final whistle, resulting in seven AU fouls and five Penn fouls. AU’s defense held tough, preventing Penn from converting on their five corner kicks in the first half. The Quakers earned an additional corner kick in the second half, and both teams total six by the end of the game.
The Eagles boast a perfect record and average 3.8 goals per game with a .51 goals against average. On Friday, the team will face Hofstra University at Reeves Field at 4:00 p.m. in the Capitol Cup.
“Overall, just a very good team win for us,” Hart said. “[It’s] just another game to us. We’ll come out the same way as we did [in] this game,”