PHILADELPHIA - After allowing the first goal of the match to the visiting Saint Joseph's Hawks, Penn rallied for five unanswered goals to erase any thoughts of an upset and score a 5-1 win at Rhodes Field on Sunday.
Freshman Duke Lacroix paced the offense for the Quakers, scoring his first two collegiate goals. In fact, all four goal scorers for the Red and Blue picked up their first collegiate strikes in the win. In addition to Lacroix's pair (66', 90'), freshman Agyeman Botchway (42'), junior Bryan Yasukochi (87') and senior Nick Unger (44') found their way onto the goal column for the first time. For Unger, his marker was the eventual game-winner, a ball that was sent from about 25-yards out and deflected off a Saint Joseph's defender on the way in.
In all, eight different players recorded points in the win, half of which were freshmen who have already started to make their mark on Penn Soccer. Kamar Saint-Louis and Louis Schott notched assists, both coming on nifty passes to set up one-touch strikes from their teammates.
Freshman Max Kurtzman made two saves for the win, improving his record to 2-0-0 early in his career. He was not nearly as tested as the two Hawks keepers who played in the match, as Penn sent 36 shots towards goal with 15 on target. Michael Moulton made four saves in the first half while Andrew D'Ottavi made six in the final 45 minutes. The field was consistently tilted in Penn's favor as the Quakers earned nine corners to just one for the Hawks.
However, Saint Joseph's took advantage of its first opportunity of the match to find paydirt when Jake Nelson curled a long offering into the top right corner to finish off a set piece for SJU.
Despite the momentary lapse and deficit. the Quakers stayed the course and kept mounting pressure on the Hawks in the defensive third. Finally, the effort was rewarded when Botchway completed a piece for the Quakers started by a Christian Barreiro entry off a corner and edged on by Jonny Dolezal's header. Botchway, clearing space for himself in the six kncoekd the ball up and under the crossbar for his first goal in Red and Blue.
Propelled by the score to tie the match, Penn pushed forward again just 2:10 later when Unger took a Schott pass and booted the ball to the back of the net, not giving Saint Joseph's a chance to gather themselves.
In the second half, Lacroix scored his first of the day on a nifty run from right to left, evading three Saint Joseph's defenders and then shooting back against his body to score low to the keeper's left in the 66th minute.
In the final moments of the match, Yasukochi scored his first collegiate goal one-timing a high shot to the left corner after a deft dish from Saint-Louis. Lacroix finished the scoring with six seconds left in the match, coming out of a scrum in the box all alone and sliding the ball into an open net.
The Quakers are 2-0-0 this season, with both wins inside the Philadelphia Soccer Six. The Hakws fall to 0-2-0.
Up next for the Quakers -- a trip across country to San Diego for the San Diego State Aztec Soccer Classic. Penn plays San Diego on Sept. 9 and San Diego St. on Sept. 11.