Men’s Soccer Beat Indiana For Spot in Finals
The Penn State men’s soccer team mounted their second comeback in as many days to advance to the Big Ten Championship Final. The 2-1 victory on Friday over Indiana means that the Nittany Lions are just one win away from gaining an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Indiana earned the top seed in this year’s tournament due to a great regular season. They showed their scoring ability early on by capitalizing on some defensive disorganization from Penn State. Indiana’s goal came in the fourth minute, meaning that the Nittany Lions would have to come from behind two nights in a row.
Penn State did just that, scoring in the 11th minute. The Nittany Lions put pressure on the Indiana defenders, forcing a turnover. Junior Corey Hertzog calmly dribbled the ball around the goalkeeper and into the net for his 17th goal of the year. Both teams had several chances as the first half drew to a close, but the score remained even at one apiece.
Indiana came out strong, maintaining possession early in the second half, but they did not really threaten the Penn State net. As time went on, the Nittany Lions began to see more of the ball. Senior Matheus Braga was a major factor in that, and he had been dazzling the crowd with his tricky moves during the match. One of these moves led to a cross from inside the box that found junior Justin Lee, who connected for his first goal of the season.
Penn State was able to sustain Indiana’s last-ditch efforts to close out the match 2-1. The victory avenged a 3-2 loss to Indiana earlier this season. The Nittany Lions will play on Sunday in the Big Ten Championship Final against Michigan. The Wolverines needed a late goal to beat a tough Wisconsin team, 1-0.
Upcoming schedule–Big Ten Championship Final held at Penn State:
Sunday: #3 Michigan vs. #4 Penn State, 12 p.m.