Penn State men’s soccer (2-4-2) made the trip to Wisconsin (4-2-2) to take on the Badgers on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions dropped their fourth match of the season, struggling to put much together offensively.
How It Happened
The game started off on the scrappy side, as both sides struggled to retain possession for extended stretches. Wisconsin saw the first clear scoring opportunity of the game, as the Badgers’ Schlenker fired a shot in the 4′ that Finney was able to parry away. The Badgers had a succession of corners within the first 10 minutes of the match, but the Nittany Lion defense stood strong and kept the match even.
In the 10′ minute, the Penn State freshman Ethan Beckford struck a rocket over a free kick from about 30 yards out that was saved by fingertips of Schilling in goal. Wisconsin’s Schilling followed up that fingertip save with an unbelievable reaction save from the following corner. Just a minute later, Aaron Molloy took shot from about 35 yards out, but it was easily saved.
In the 14th minute, the Wisconsin forward Tom Barlow led a counter-attack, catching the Nittany Lions off-guard, and slotted it past Finney with a curler using the outside of his foot. The Badgers used this goal to sit back for the rest of the first (and second) half.
Penn State seemed to hold onto possession well, but couldn’t break through. Shots from Pritchatt, Beckford, and Sigue came in from all over the field, but the clear scoring opportunities seemed to elude Bob Warming’s side. Wisconsin went into the half with a 1-0 lead.
There wasn’t much to report from the second half of this match. Early in the half, Penn State forward Sigue headed a bouncing ball from a corner that nearly knotted the match up, but was cleared away from goal.
In the 67’, Mueller lined up for Wisconsin with a great look at goal from a free kick just outside of the box. He couldn’t capitalize on the chance, though, as he fired it wide.
Penn State actually put up 18 shots in the game, but it was tough to watch in the second half. The Nittany Lions didn’t really seem to show much desire offensively, looking content with passing the ball around the back until something developed ahead of the ball. The problem was, nothing really developed in front of the ball.
The Wisconsin defense was more than capable of keeping the Nittany Lion attack contained. Other than a shot from distance here and there, Penn State really didn’t show any threat.
Player of the Match
Tom Barlow | Senior | Forward
Tom Barlow, the lone goal scorer in the match, showed incredible composure in front of goal after leading a fast-paced counter against the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions will head to Philadelphia to take on Temple on Wednesday at 7 p.m.