#23 Men’s Soccer Blanks Rutgers 3-0 in NCAA First Round; Will play #3 Syracuse on Sunday

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PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team scored just over a minute in their NCAA Championship first round game on Thursday night against Rutgers, putting the game on ice midway through the second half. en route to a 3-0 Penn Park win.

Quaker Notemeal
* Penn has played four matches this season at Penn Park, winning all four clean sheets (8-0).


* The Quakers ended a five-game winless streak against Rutgers dating back to a 1-0 victory for Penn on October 23, 2002.


* Thursday night was Penn’s eighth shutout this season, the most for the program since the 2010 team posted nine clean sheets.


* With its 13e win of the season, Penn moved to a tie at four for the second-most wins in program history with the 2010, 1973 and 1971 teams, behind only the 1972 team that started the season 14 -0-1 before falling in their first NCAA game.


* James C. Gentle Head Coach Brian Gill improved to 9-3-2 against New Jersey teams during his tenure as Penn’s head coach, good for a .714 winning percentage, including a 5-0-0 mark this season. Additionally, Penn improved to 20-6-6 at home under Gill, a .719 winning percentage.


* Ben Stitz marked twice and Stas Korzeniowski scored once, with both ending the night tied for the team lead with 11 goals. Either Stitz or Korzeniowski have scored in 12 of Penn’s 17 appearances this season.


* With 43 goals this season, Penn’s has now scored more than any team in the past 49 years. The aforementioned 1973 team found the back of the net 56 times this fall.


*Penn’s has now won three straight games by shutout since the 2018/early 2019 seasons ended, and the first time in the same season since the 2010 team won five in a row by shutout.



How did it happen
While some of the more than 750 fans in attendance still found their seats, Stitz found the back of the net in the second minute. Playing a ball to himself from around 14 yards out, Stitz fired a shot that bounced just past the goal line and got stuck inside the right post.

In the 31st minute, Michel teDuits took advantage of poor play from the Scarlet Knights back line and fired one from 16 yards which the Rutgers keeper got his hands on, but the ball was deflected towards Korzeniowski who found just enough room to get his right leg on the rebound for a two-goal pad. Penn’s defense produced no shots on net for the remainder of the half as the Reds and Blues led into the locker room.

Two goalkeeper saves Nick Christoffersen kept Rutgers off the scoreboard for the hour before Stitz shut the door on any idea of ​​a Rutgers comeback in the 70th. Mateo Zazueta got his leg on a Rutgers clearance attempt and threw one into Stitz atop the 18-yard box. With his body facing the flag from the left corner, Stitz fired a left-footed shot through the box that tucked about a foot inside the right post for his second of the night.

Rutgers put in two more attempts on target in the final 20 minutes, but Christoffersen was up to the task on both occasions, capping off a magical night at Penn Park with his seventh clean sheet of the season and fourth in his five last matches.

Next
Penn will travel to Syracuse for a 2:00 game this Sunday, November 20 with the three seeded Orange from SU Soccer Stadium. This will be the first meeting between the two programs since November 5, 1922.

 

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