Penn State men’s soccer (0-1-1) remained deadlocked with UC Irvine (1-1-1) at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, California Friday night after two periods of extra time.
Aaron Molloy’s first-half goal was enough to keep the Nittany Lions level despite captain Dani Marks’s 76th-minute red card.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions’ starting lineup saw three changes following last week’s home loss to Hofstra, with junior Noah Pilato, and seniors Sam Bollinger and Aymar Sigue replacing junior Pierre Reedy, sophomore Mitchel Bringolf and senior Cameron Steele in Friday’s match against the Anteaters.
Freshman forward Ethan Beckford created the Lions’ best chance of the opening twenty minutes when he cut inside from the left wing and fired a low, bouncing shot into the gloves of Irvine goalkeeper Alex Waldron in the second minute. Shots from Pilato and Bollinger missed wide and were blocked respectively, and Irvine struggled to test Penn State’s senior goalkeeper Evan Finney.
Sophomore Aaron Molloy opened the scoring in the 31st minute when he latched onto an Austin Maloney flick and curled the ball into the top right corner of Waldron’s goal. Molloy’s tally was his first for the Blue and White since joining the team this fall.
Pressure began to mount against the Nittany Lions immediately following Molloy’s go-ahead goal. Finney dove to deny UC Irvine junior midfielder Luis Leon’s 25-yard freekick in the 32nd minute, and a volley from Irvine junior midfielder Ivan Canales missed high a minute later.
Sophomore midfielder Christian Sload broke through the Anteater defense to go one-on-one with Waldron in the 39th, but his shot was saved, and cleared by a trailing defender. Penn State held on for the final five minutes of the first half, and entered the break with a one-goal lead.
UC Irvine began the second half with energy. Senior midfielder Giovanni Godoy’s 47th minute header was saved by Finney, and shots from Luis and Irvine freshman Alvaro Quezada missed wide and high. Senior Christian Carillo delivered the Anteater equalizer in the 66th minute, heading Godoy’s assist past Finney and into the Penn State goal.
Penn State’s quest for a winning goal became especially difficult when captain Dani Marks was sent off in the 76th minute after being shown a second yellow card. As a team, Penn State accumulated 6 yellow cards and committed 16 fouls throughout the match.
The Nittany Lions’ defense held firm throughout the final ten minutes of the second half, limiting UC Irvine’s offense to three shots and forcing overtime.
The first ten-minute period of extra time was relatively uneventful — UC Irvine recorded two shots and Christian Sload fired wide for the lions in the 99th minute. Irvine’s sophomore forward Jose Ortiz came close to breaking the deadlock in the second period when his volley hit the post in the 103rd minute, and Waldron denied a Sload header from point-blank range to keep the score even. Neither team was able to break the deadlock, confirming a final score of 1-1.
Player Of The Match
Aaron Molloy | Sophomore | Midfielder
The Dublin, Ireland, native scored the Nittany Lions’ first goal of the season in his second start.
The Nittany Lions travel to Los Angeles on Sunday, September 3 to take on Loyola Marymount (0-2) in the final match of their west coast tour.