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Men’s Soccer Advances In B1G Tournament With OT Golden Goal

A play-in game against evenly matched teams provided a dream ending for the Nittany Lions. The ninth-seeded Penn State team and No. 8 Michigan State Spartans met up Saturday afternoon trying to make the quarterfinals. A back-and-forth game went to overtime, where Penn State’s Brian James ended it with the golden goal.

How It Happened

If looking at shot totals are your thing, Penn State had no business hanging around with Michigan State in the first half. The Spartans had the game’s first four shots before Penn State’s first and only of the half. Seven shots later, the half came to a close with Penn State’s goaltender, Evan Finney, having made two saves compared to Michigan State’s Bennett’s zero. The first half didn’t go as planned, but heading into halftime, the Nittany Lions were not ready to let their season end.

Freshman Dayonn Harris scored the first goal of his collegiate career three minutes into the half, giving his team the surprising lead and slowing down Michigan State’s momentum — but not stopping it, as its high shot totals continued and 14 minutes after Harris scored, the game was tied. The Spartans’ Ryan Sierakowski buried a rebound to make the score 1-1 with 28 minutes to play in regulation. The teams needed all of the time and then some, as the game headed into sudden-death overtime.

It took four minutes of extra time for Connor Maloney to find Brian James, who did this:

Michigan State led in shots, shots on goal, and corner kicks. Penn State led in goals and advancements to the Big Ten quarterfinals — a trade-off we’re sure the team will take any day.

Player Of The Game

It has to be Brian James. Michigan State did everything it could to win this game, but the senior from Florida teamed up with Maloney to set up a date with the Buckeyes.

What’s Next?

No. 9 Penn State will meet No. 1 Ohio State this Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on the Big Ten Network.

About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.

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