Forward Ben Maurey '15 scored the game-winning goal for the third straight game Saturday evening to lead the No. 11 men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory at Penn. The win extended the Bears' unbeaten streak to 11 games and marked their 10th shutout of the season. With only two conference games remaining, the first-place Bears (12-1-2, 4-0-1 Ivy) are that much closer to defending their 2011 title.
"Yesterday's game was a big game, because after a huge win against Cornell, we didn't want a letdown," Maurey said. "We knew Penn was a team we could beat but we couldn't take them lightly since all Ivy League games are tough, and Penn is a hard place to play on the road."
Midfielder Kevin Gavey '13 also said the Philadelphia field itself adds to the challenge of playing away. "Historically, our program has had trouble winning at the field because it is so small and windy - just a hard place to play," he said.
Though the Quakers (2-12-0, 0-5-0) have not had much success this season, "they played tough and showed that they are much better than their records show," said Voltaire Escalona '14.
Less than four minutes into the first half, the Bears took a 1-0 lead. After a quick passing play, Maurey scored his fourth goal of the year to become Bruno's leading scorer. Gavey beat a man down the line and crossed the ball to Bobby Belair '13 who then flicked it to Maurey for a shot from the penalty spot.
"We came out on fire and scored a nice goal early on, and unlike the Cornell game, we kept the pressure on," Maurey said.
After that goal, the game was pretty evenly matched, with both teams trading shots throughout the first half.
Bruno goalkeeper Sam Kernan-Schloss '13 made six saves in the half and ended the night with eight.
The Bears came out strong in the first 10 minutes of the second half, creating multiple chances. Both Belair and Thomas McNamara '12.5 threatened with shots on goal.
"Although it became more defensive the last 20 minutes, they didn't have any real chances on goal," Gavey said.
"Our defense was stellar once again," Escalona said. "They are living up to their nickname of 'the wall' by posting another shutout."
With two Ivy games remaining, the Bears hold a one-point advantage over Cornell and Dartmouth in the Ivy League standings.
"We're currently in first and hold our destiny in our hand," Gavey said. "So we know that this isn't a time to let down but rather prepare even more to help us win the Ivy League and keep momentum going into the tournament."
The Bears will now host Yale at Stevenson Field Saturday on Senior Night.
"We want to send our seniors off with a win at home," Escalona said. "We have to continue to grind and work hard at practice like we have been up to this point. This is a special group, and we are hungry for another Ivy League ring."