Penn State men’s soccer (0-1-2) took on the Loyola Marymount Lions (1-2-1) on a warm, sunny Los Angeles afternoon. Penn State drew 1-1 away from home in a strange game that totaled 38 fouls, 8 yellow cards, and an early red card.
How It Happened
Aaron Molloy, the sophomore from Dublin, certainly lived up to his captain role for a Penn State team that has had troubles finding the back of the net early in the season.
LMU had the first real chance of the game, as some play along the left wing eventually led to a cross into the box that bounced around before Cole Souza mishit one well over goal. In the 13′, Aaron Molloy scored perhaps the goal of his career. Molloy lobbed one from midfield that initially looked like some sort of mistake, before passing over the head of the LMU Lions keeper and into the goal.
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Cameron Steele was shown a straight red card in the 14′, the reason for which was very unclear. Antonio Pareco was shown a yellow card for whatever happened. Just seconds later, Austin Maloney was shown a yellow card, as the referee was not afraid to set the tone very early.
The Nittany Lions sat back for much of the first half, simply trying to defend their lead. In the 32′, Loyola Marymount had their best chance of the first half after Cole Souza made his way down the right wing with plenty of space. Souza crossed the ball in where it bounced around a bit, but Evan Finney came up with a couple of very solid saves.
Evan Finney was given a yellow card for taking out Grant Sampson in a one-on-one opportunity just outside of the box in the 38′. There seemed to be a pretty good case for a red card, as the Nittany Lions continued to make questionable decisions.
Cole Souza evened things up for LMU in the 43′, getting on the end of an accurate cross in from Jon Bovill on the left flank. The teams went into halftime tied up at 1-1.
Penn State controlled possession in the opening portion of the second half despite the man-down disadvantage. In the 57′, Aaron Molloy appeared to be dragged down from behind in the box as he took a shot, but the referee held off from making any penalty call. Before long, however, Loyola Marymount established a firm control on the game.
LMU saw perhaps their best chances in the second half all within about 30 seconds as a succession of corners nearly led to a goal in the 72′. The Lions certainly outplayed the Nittany Lions throughout regular time, totaling 23 shots versus 3 from Penn State. Despite the difference in shots between the teams, Penn State was able to force overtime with some stingy defense.
Penn State had a few shots on goal in overtime, but just couldn’t quite finish the game off. The first half of extra time ended frantically as the Nittany Lions looked to score, but just couldn’t quite notch a goal. Neither side could notch a victory as the game ended 1-1.
Player of the Match
Aaron Molloy | Sophomore | Midfield
Aaron Molloy was head-and-shoulders above the rest of the Penn State squad on Sunday night. Molloy scored an unbelievable goal from midfield and controlled possession offensively for the Nittany Lions. Molloy currently has both of Penn State’s goals for the season.
Penn State will return home from California and host Saint Francis (2-1-0) at Jeffrey Field this Friday night at 7 p.m.