Penn State Men’s Soccer Falls To Temple 2-0
For the first time since 1997, Temple University men’s soccer defeated No. 25 Penn State (1-1-1) on Friday evening. On Penn State’s end, significant lack of communication, a weak grasp on basic skills, and increasing frustration all contributed to the upset. Temple’s ball control and defensive prowess got the best of Penn State and contributed to the victory.
How It Happened
Temple was able to dominate this game via possession from the start. They had 16 shots to Penn State’s 5, and 7 shots-on-goal to Penn State’s 3. That aspect alone put momentum in Temple’s favor, and helped the scrappy Owls shutout the Nittany Lions.
The Owls first struck at the 10:56 mark with an exciting goal from Justin Stoddart off of a rebounded shot. Penn State’s frustration was almost immediately evident. Temple was far superior in the possession department, allowed the team to control and limit Penn State’s offense throughout the first half.
The second half was just as bleak for the Nittany Lions. Temple was able to hang on to its 1-0 lead by playing conservatively, and keeping chances to a minimum. As a result, little notable action occurred throughout the half, other than back and forth passing at midfield. Temple midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez capitalized on a straight shot that pulled Penn State goalie Matt Bersano out of the net, and ultimately sealed the deal for the Owls.
Player Of The Game
Although the game was frustrating for the Nittany Lions, goalkeeper Matt Bersano persevered, and did what he could to keep the Lions afloat throughout the contest. He had five great saves that shouldn’t be ignored, and extended his recent run of solid form in net. Tonight, he exuded leadership for Penn State, and refused to give in despite bleak circumstances.
Penn State will take on James Madison University next Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Jeffrey field.