Men’s Soccer Takes Two Games to Overtime
The Penn State men’s soccer team played well in both of their games last week, but could not turn either effort into a win. After a tough overtime loss to Akron last Wednesday, the Nittany Lions could only manage a tie against Northwestern on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions played top-ranked Akron on Wednesday night at Jeffery Field in what turned out to be somewhat of a strange match. The start of the game was delayed half an hour because someone stole several items from the Akron bus. Then, despite the delay, both teams came out firing from the opening whistle. Junior Corey Hertzog scored his 12th goal of the season in the sixth minute from an assist by junior Mackenzie Arment. There was little time for celebration, however, because Akron scored in the seventh minute to tie the match at one.
The scoring would stop at this point. For another 100 minutes, the teams provided action and plenty of scoring opportunities, but neither team could put one in the net. The match remained tied until a 107th minute decision by the referee to award a penalty kick to Akron. Redshirt freshman Brendan Birmingham was deemed to have brought down an Akron player in the box. The ensuing penalty kick was converted, giving Akron a 2-1, double overtime victory.
Despite losing, Penn State played well and was confident heading into its road match-up on Sunday with Northwestern. Hertzog came out hot again and scored his 13th goal of the season in the 39th minute. Eerily similar to the Akron game, Northwestern responded just 41 seconds later with a goal of their own. The Nittany Lions controlled play in the second half, but could not score. The teams would remain tied through regulation and overtime, giving Penn State its first tie of the season.
Penn State played well in both of their games last week, but both matches could be seen as lost opportunities. The Nittany Lions are now 8-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the Big Ten. This week will be pivotal, as Penn State will be playing their final two home games of the regular season. After a non-conference match mid-week, the Nittany Lions play Ohio State on Saturday in a game that Penn State needs to win to move up the Big Ten standings.
Wednesday: vs. UMBC, 7 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Ohio State, 3 p.m.