Men’s Soccer Wins First-Round NCAA Tourney Match
Playing in front of a home crowd at Jeffrey Field, Penn State men’s soccer defeated St. Francis Brooklyn 1-0 Thursday night, advancing to the second round in the team’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010.
Nearing the end of a scoreless first half, junior defender Eli Dennis put the Nittany Lions ahead with what would prove to be the eventual game-winning goal, knocking a 12-yard volley past Terriers goalkeeper Jack Binks on a cross from sophomore midfielder Drew Klingenberg in the 37th minute.
Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Wolverton made four saves for the Lions, en route to his second consecutive shutout and the 21st of his career. The 6-6 junior from Atlanta, Ga. has 67 saves this season along with six shutouts.
St. Francis forward Kevin Correa entered Thursday night’s contest on a hot streak, with five goals in his last three games and 13 overall on the season. First Team All-Big Ten defender Martin Seiler and redshirt freshman Nate Lee, a fill-in starter, held Correa in check for the entire match, limiting the Terriers most dangerous offensive threat to only two shots.
The closest St. Francis came to tying the match came in the 57th minute when Correa bent a left-footed 35-yard free kick that bounced off the left upright.
In a tough, physical contest, Penn State was whistled for 11 fouls and one yellow card, while the Terriers were called for 13 and two yellow cards. Shots were evenly split at 10 apiece, but the Lions held a 5-1 advantage on corner kicks.
Penn State will take on tenth-seeded U.C. Santa Barbara on Sunday for a 9 p.m. start at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, California. The Gauchos (12-5-3), winners of the 2006 national championship, will be playing their first match of the tournament after drawing a first round bye.