Men’s Soccer Drops Season Finale at Penn, 3-1
Harvard closed its season Saturday against Penn (Gil Talbot).
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – In its final match of the 2012 season, the Harvard men's soccer team couldn't hold an early lead as it dropped a 3-1 decision to Penn Saturday afternoon. Harvard closes its season with a record of 3-11-3 and 0-6-1 in Ivy play while Penn finishes at 3-13-0 and 1-6-0 in Ancient Eight action.
The Crimson has had a knack for getting out to fast starts this season, and Saturday was no exception as the guests took a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Forwards Hiroki Kobayashi and Brian Rogers strung together some crisp passes through the middle of the field, and Rogers eventually found senior Zack Wolfenzon, who one-touched the ball inside the left post for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Wolfenzon's fourth of the season, good for the team lead.
The 1-0 edge was short-lived, however, as Penn hit the equalizer just 51 seconds later. Penn controlled the ball off the kickoff and a chip shot from almost 25 yards out evaded Harvard goalie Evan Mendez, allowing the hosts to knot the score at the 2:53 mark of the first. Harvard went on to outshoot Penn, 9-7 for the half, and hold a 3-2 edge in corner kicks, but the first stanza ended in a 1-1 deadlock.
While Harvard got the first two shots of the second half off, it was Penn that capitalized on a chance early in the stanza. A Penn corner kick sparked a play that ended with Sam Engs heading home a lob pass from Travis Dolezal to give the hosts a 2-1 edge in the contest at 53:06. Solid passing through the offensive zone just over 10 minutes later saw Penn's Travis Cantrell weave behind the Harvard defense, and his one-touch effort slid by Mendez at the 64:46 mark to give Penn a 3-1 lead. Harvard once again outshot the Quakers, 10-6, in the half, but the Crimson was unable to find the back of the net again as the game ended in a 3-1 final.
Mendez finished the game with a pair of saves while his counterpart Tyler Kinn racked up six stops in the game. Harvard held the edge in shots (19-13) and corner kicks (8-4) on the evening.