PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team, behind a first-half brace from Kelsey Andrews, won its third game in a row, defeating UMBC 2-0 at Rhodes Field on Friday evening. Kitty Qu combined with Ashley Gabor for the Quakers' fourth shutout of the young season while only allowing seven shots.
*Kelsey Andrews netted a pair of goals, the first multi-goal game of her career.
*Andrews now leads Penn in goals (4) and points (9).
*The shutout was Penn's fourth of the season, marking just the third time the Quakers recorded four clean sheets in the first six games since 2002.
*Kitty Qu has allowed just three goals in 495 minutes between the pipes with a .833 save percentage and an impressive .545 goals against average.
*Emily Sands notched her second assist of the year, and is one of five Quakers to total at least five points.
*Camillia Nwokedi assisted on Andrews' second goal, her first point of the season and fourth of her career.
*Abbey Duncan recorded the first point of her career, assisting on the opening goal.
*Penn is now 5-0 when scoring first.
*The Quakers are 3-0 when grabbing a first-half goal.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a week of practice, Penn entered the evening with a clear plan and began the contest with the lion's share of possession. Chances weren't flying early, but with UMBC sitting in its defensive third allowing the Quakers much of the ball, you could feel they were coming.
In the 19th minute, the first one came. Emily Sands' pass found Kelsey Andrews' feet in acres of open space, allowing the junior to easily turn inside the box and calmly find the vacated corner of the net putting Penn ahead early. After not recording a first-half goal through the opening three games, the Quakers have now scored inside the first 45 minutes in three consecutive contests.
Just before the half, Andrews doubled up the advantage. In the 43rd minute, center back Camillia Nwokedi whipped a teasing ball into the box that Andrews got her head to. The ball ricocheted off both the crossbar and the keeper's hands before finding the back of the onion bag. The goal presented a pair of firsts, as Andrews' logged the first multi-goal game of her career and Nwokedi notched her first point of the season.
Even with a two-goal advantage, the first half didn't encompass an overwhelming amount of really solid chances – the Quakers scored on their only two shots on goal of the first half – despite the lopsided possession numbers. The second half, however, provided plenty.
Andrews headed one high less than two minutes into the second 45; Mia Shenk almost converted on Emma Loving's ability to reach the end line just a minute later; and Sands unleashed a spin cycle on a defender, played reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Sasha Stephens in behind the defense, but her shot to the far post was knocked away. All of that came within the first five minutes of the half.
On the other end, Ashley Gabor made a pair of saves in the second half, diving hard to her right for both of them to preserve the shutout, Penn's fourth of the season.
Penn hits the road to take on Towson on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Tigers enter riding a three-game win streak with victories over Loyola, UMBC and Lehigh.