Hertzog Leads Men’s Soccer to Second Round Victory
This season, the Penn State men’s soccer team has relied on junior Corey Hertzog to score goals. This stayed true in the NCAA Tournament second round game against Old Dominion, as he led Penn State to victory with three goals and an assist.
Despite eventually winning 4-1, things did not start out well for Penn State. The speed of Old Dominion’s attacking players gave the Nittany Lions a tough time, leading to a 13th minute goal for the opposition. Play evened out in the first half after the goal, but it took some magic from Hertzog and senior Matheus Braga to tie the game. In the 26th minute, Braga brought the ball down the field and crossed it into the box, where Hertzog chested the ball and volleyed it into the net. The score remained tied at the half thanks to a point-blank miss from Old Dominion as time was running out.
The second half was all about Penn State. The Nittany Lions controlled possession and were putting shots on the Old Dominion net. Braga was denied twice with nice saves early on. The first was a chip shot that got over the goalie before being saved off the line by an Old Dominion defender. The second was a nice save when Braga took a free kick.
Penn State finally got the lead in the 73rd minute thanks to more great play from Hertzog and Braga. Freshman Jordan Tyler passed to Braga, who ran down the sideline and crossed the ball. Hertzog got on the end of the cross once again and headed it home to make it 2-1. Just four minutes later, junior Matt Smallwood hit a long ball to Hertzog that led him down the sideline. Hertzog got his assist by crossing to Tyler for a goal to make it 3-1.
Old Dominion put numbers and pressure forward at this point, and Penn State capitalized. An Old Dominion free kick play nearly worked, but the shot hit the Nittany Lion post. The ball eventually was cleared to Hertzog, who weaved his way around defenders. He made his way into the penalty area, where he was taken down and awarded a penalty kick. Hertzog scored the penalty kick for his hat trick and a 4-1 Nittany Lion victory.
Penn State advances to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with the victory, and they will play Maryland, who beat Penn last night, on the road next Sunday.