Penn State Captures Season Opener With A 1-0 Victory Over San Francisco
With 2,449 fans in attendance, the Nittany Lions took the season opener with a 1-0 victory over San Francisco on a picturesque Friday evening at Jeffrey Field. Needing to start the season on a high note, the Nittany Lions overcame a sloppy first half to net home the deciding goal, and begin the 2015 campaign with momentum. Let’s take a look at how the action unfolded.
How It Happened
The game began with a lulling first half that culminated in three total shots being recorded, all of which came from the San Francisco side. The Lions seemed to be feeling out the opponent with multiple spurts of close-range passing, but weren’t able to capitalize on scoring chances early on. Turnovers plagued the team throughout the game’s early stages, and squandered any sort of momentum generated by crosses or counter-attacks.
Oregon State transfer Matt Bersano kept San Francisco off the board with steady goalkeeping, and seemed to be in good form. His defense struggled to contain the San Francisco attack at times, but he responded accordingly and kept his team alive.
Freshman Mac Curran livened things up with a gorgeous finish off a cross from fellow freshman Austin Maloney, and put the Nittany Lions ahead in a decisive point in the game. Maloney fired a screaming low-cross that found the foot of Curran, placing the ball perfectly between a pair of San Francisco defenders.
Injuries plagued San Francisco in the second half, and the team was unable to respond to the steady attack Penn State maintained throughout the second half. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Matt Bersano starts the year on the highest of highs, earning his first clean sheet as a member of the Nittany Lions.
Player Of The Game
Player Of The Game honors go to freshman Mac Curran, whose first career collegiate goal proved to be the game winner. In a contest starved of offense, Curran delivered a much needed spark. It will be interesting to see if he continues his sudden run of form in the team’s next slate of games.
Tweet Of The Game
Mac Curran sends the cross home to get the Nittany Lions on the board! 1-0 Penn State.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) August 28, 2015
The season opener went in Penn State’s favor, and gets the 2015 season started on a high note. As noted earlier, goalkeeper Matt Bersano records his first clean sheet of both the young season and his Penn State career. He’s got some big shoes to fill taking over for Andrew Wolverton in net, but he’s off to a phenomenal start.
Penn State will again take the pitch on Sunday, August 30 against Navy at 3 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.
For photos of tonight’s match-up, you can view our Facebook album here.