Top-ranked Indiana (10-0-2) defeated Penn State (2-7-2) 1-0 at Jeffrey Field Saturday night, adding another loss to the Nittany Lions’ winless Big Ten record.
Indiana showed its attacking class early in what promised to be a busy match for captain Dani Marks and the rest of the Penn State backline.
How It Happened
The Hoosiers’ willowy top scorer, freshman forward Mason Toye, recorded the match’s first shot in the second minute, driving a low effort into the hands of goalkeeper Josh Levine. Levine was called into action again in the fifth minute, when he stretched to save another low, powerful strike.
The Hoosiers’ combination of measured possession and quick counter attacks limited Penn State’s offensive productivity in the first half. The home team’s defenders blocked a total of five shots in the first half, while Levine recorded six saves.
The frustrated Indiana offense found its breakthrough in the 20th minute with a devastating counter attack. Cory Thomas’s inch-perfect cross from the right found a wide-open Spencer Glass at the back post, and the midfielder’s cushioned header floated past Levine and into the bottom right corner.
Despite several powerful, streaking runs from striker Ethan Beckford and a growing share of posession, the Nittany Lions only recorded one shot in the first half. Penn State entered the break trailing 1-0 to the dominant Hoosiers.
Indiana’s momentum continued into the second half. Levine made an acrobatic diving save in the 51st to deny Austin Panchot. After a series of impressive dribbling moves, Toye fired a shot over the bar from the ensuing corner.
Callum Pritchatt and Beckford remained dangerous as the Nittany Lions began to gain an attacking foothold. Pritchatt broke forward and whipped a powerful cross into the Indiana penalty box in the 54th, forcing goalkeeper Trey Muse to come out of the goal and make a save.
Beckford came close to equalizing in the 71st, but Muse pushed his shot wide. The Manchester-born forward back-heeled an Austin Maloney cross several minutes later, but Muse denied him again. Penn State was unable to find an equalizer in this late slew of attacking chances, and the Hoosiers calmly kept possession as time ticked away. Indiana retained its shutout and escaped with a 1-0 win.
Player Of The Game
Cory Thomas | Junior | Midfielder
The winger terrorized the left side of the Nittany Lion defense with several eye-catching hocus pocus skills, and provided a clinical assist for the match’s only goal.
The Nittany Lions face in-state rivals Pitt (6-6) in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Oct. 11.