LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Penn FC (0-1-2) earned a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United II (1-0-2) after forward Tommy Heinemann scored the first goal in Penn FC history.
In the 31st minute, Dan Metzger blasted a long ball, near midfield, up to the top of the box. Richard Menjivar extended his foot and deflected the ball up to Heinemann, who was drifting up the middle. Heinemann blasted the volley off the side of his left foot and beat the goalkeeper, Nicolas Caraux. Heinemann ran towards the right-corner flag, celebrating, as the ball settled in the back of the net.
Penn FC was the aggressor on offense, despite only holding 41.9 percent possession. Heinemann earned extra attention from the Atlanta defenders which opened up opportunities for the rest of the offense. The team ripped off a season-high 12 shots and earned four corners during the game.
The team utilized its 3-5-2 formation to play more defensively. Instead of pressing on offense, the team retreated back after losing possession, and held its shape until it could regain possession. Penn FC’s physical play, at all levels of the pitch, disrupted Atlanta for the majority of the match.
However, Atlanta converted its only opportunity on target to equalize.
Penn FC earned a corner in the 62nd minute. Menjivar whipped his kick into the box, but it was deflected out. Atlanta immediately began its counter-attack. Lagos Kunga caught up to the ball near the left-corner flag, before crossing it to the far post. Jon Gallagher headed the ball past Romu Peiser to the left post, and the ball bounced into the net.
Metzger and Saalih Muhammad fired shots from inside the box in the 82nd and 84th minutes, respectively, but neither attempt earned the go-ahead goal for Penn FC. Metzger hit a volley at the top of the box that rainbowed over the crossbar. Muhammad played a low shot that required Caraux to go to ground and save the shot.
Penn FC’s continued improvement on offense was on display at Coolray Field. The team recorded three shots on target after earning one in two games. Overall, Penn FC recorded seven more shots than Atlanta.
Penn FC’s defense, again, suppressed a high-flying offense. Atlanta walked onto the pitch with five goals in two games. Instead, Penn FC held Atlanta to five total shots and only one in the first half. Penn FC played well without the ball, especially Ken Tribbett, who led all players with eight interceptions.
Penn FC returns to Harrisburg, Pa., riding a two-game unbeaten streak. The team will now prepare for its inaugural season home opener on Saturday, April 21 at FNB Field. Penn FC will host Charleston Battery for a rematch after the teams played in Charleston, S.C., in Penn FC’s season opener. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets for the home opener are on sale at pennfc.com/tickets.