Men’s Soccer Ties No. 1 Stanford 0-0
Penn State opened its season with a grueling challenge — paying a visit to the defending National Champion and No. 1 ranked Stanford. The Nittany Lions had success opening weekend in the past, but heading to Palo Alto to play the top team in the country served as a tough task for a young team. Despite the disparity between experience and accolades, Penn State managed to keep up with the Cardinal and finish with a 0-0 draw.
How It Happened
Stanford opened the game with a few quick opportunities. Senior goalkeeper Evan Finney got the nod in goal over the trio of freshmen and tried to reward his coach for the vote of confidence with a handful of saves in the opening half of play.
Penn State didn’t have much momentum going forward, but the Nittany Lions were not completely outmatched by Stanford’s juggernaut attack. Penn State did have a few chances toward the end of the half, with the best coming from a blocked shot at the top of the box from Dayonn Harris.
Stanford’s best chance of the first half came in the 44th minute when Foster Langsdorf got on the end of a headed cross, controlled it, and attempted a bicycle kick. Finney got a hand to the shot and managed to keep the score tied 0-0.
Penn State did well to keep the Cardinal offense, who’s presumably adjusting to life without United States men’s national team forward Jordan Morris leading the attack, in check during portions of the game. Penn State came out in what appeared to be a three-man back line which meshed pretty well despite playing only one game together.
Stanford had a number of opportunities late in the half. A loose ball outside the box was collected and fired towards goal by Bryce Marion. The shot rattled off the bar and the game remained tied. Finney denied a last gasp effort from Foster Langsdorf with a diving save to send the game to overtime. After the bonus two periods of overtime, neither side managed to find a winner and Penn State opened the season with a 0-0 draw.
Player Of The Game
Evan Finney | Goalkeeper | Senior
The senior was given the starting nod and made a number of big saves to force overtime for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State continues its California road trip with a game Sunday against UC Berkeley. Kick-off will be at 6 p.m. and will air live on the PAC 12 Network.
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