Published: October 15, 2014
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers men's soccer team returned to the win column with its highest goal output of the 2014 season in a 4-1 win over Penn, the defending Ivy League Champions. Redshirt junior forward JP Correa (Montville, N.J.) put away the game-winner on a penalty kick and freshman forward Jason Wright (Kingston, Jamaica) added two goals in the victory.
The Scarlet Knights, who put an end to a six-game winless drought, improved to 4-7-1 overall. Penn, meanwhile, falls to 5-6-0 overall.
The Quakers got onto the scoreboard first with Alex Neumann firing six yards out from the right post, but Rutgers was able to respond denying the next 20 Penn shots, while netting four unanswered goals for the win.
Momentum shifted late in the first half with sophomore midfielder Erik Sa (Watchung, N.J.) finally breaking through on a free kick opportunity. His second goal of the season tied the game up at 1-1 in the 33rd minute of play.
The game remained tied until the 55th minute when Correa was awarded RU's first penalty kick of the season. Correa had no problem finding the back of the Quaker net for his third goal of the year and second game-winner.
The night ended with back-to-back scores by Scarlet Knight leading scorer Wright. Sa used a pass in the middle of Scarlet Knight territory to senior midfielder Nate Bruccoleri (Bordentown, N.J.), who then tapped the ball over to Wright at the top of the 18. The Kingston, Jamaica then right footed the ball along the right post in the 65th minute of action.
Wright put away his team-leading seventh net of the season in the 85th minute. Freshman Niel Guzman (Bridgewater, N.J.) played his way out of the left corner past the Penn defense to cross to Wright from eight yards out straight on the Quaker goal.
Penn's leading scorer, Duke Lacroix, who entered the evening tied for second in the Ivy League in scoring, had a game-high seven shots, including four on night, but was unable to convert for the Quakers.
Goalkeeper Mitchell Walier (Holmdel, N.J.) earned the start for the Scarlet Knights, his second of his career, and ended the night with a career-high seven stops. Two of his saves came in the closing seconds of the game as he punched way a Quaker free kick and thwarted Neumann from adding in a possible second chance.
"We're happy, especially going down 1-0, to respond the way we did," said head coach Dan Donigan. "Erik (Sa) had a great restart, which we needed before the end of the half. I felt very good going into second half with the way the game was being played. I thought we were getting rotations and we were wearing (Penn) down. To unload the way we did in the second half, goals are goals, and it's nice to get them. Certainly the team needs something like this to continue things in a positive way, especially with Northwestern coming to town."
The Rutgers men's soccer team returns to Big Ten play on Saturday night. The Scarlet Knights host Northwestern at 7 p.m. at Yurcak Field.
- Rutgers' four goals were the most by the squad since 3-2 overtime win at Wisconsin on Sept.12
- RU improved to 9-6 all-time in the series with Penn and 42-51-12 against the Ivy League.
- Freshman forward Jason Wright had his third two-goal game as a Scarlet Knights. He also scored twice in RU's win over Lafayette and last week's setback at Princeton.
- Redshirt junior JP Correa now has 27 points in his career as he added in his 10th career goal.
- Sophomore Erik Sa posted his second goal and first assist of the 2014 campaign and now has nine (3G, 3A) points in his two years as a Scarlet Knight.
- Senior Nate Bruccoleri captured his first points of the year on Wright's first goal of the night. The midfielder now has 10 points (3G, 4A) to his name.
- Freshman Niel Guzman's assist on Rutgers' fourth and final goal of the night was his first collegiate assist.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Mitchell Walier made a career-high seven stops in net after previously making five stops in the second half on Saturday night against Michigan. Walier has made 15 saves this season in four appearances.
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