Men’s Soccer Tops Rutgers 3-2 In Overtime
Penn State (7-6-2, 4-3 Big Ten) returned to the field after its 2-2 draw against Akron to take on the Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights (0-12-2, 0-6-2 Big Ten) came to Happy Valley searching for their first win of the season, but would be denied in a 3-2 overtime thriller.
How It Happened
The match started off evenly in terms of chances and possession, but Penn State settled in and took control of the game about midway through the half. For the second game in a row, Dayonn Harris looked explosive from the get-go, forcing Rutgers’ keeper into a few very tough saves and opening up lanes for Penn State’s attack. Connor Maloney also showed that his good form was here to stay with good early link-up play and a few shots on target.
The breakthrough finally came for the Nittany Lions in the 34th minute, as Frankie De La Camara scored his first career goal on Penn State’s best chance of the first half. Pierre Reedy was played through excellently from the Nittany Lions’ midfield and led a three-on-two charge. Reedy found De La Camara on the left side who took the ball, stopped, and curled one between the near post and the Rutgers keeper. The Nittany Lions went into the half with a 1-0 lead. In the 50th minute, Riley Grant turned the ball over in the Nittany Lions’ own third. Jason Wright picked off Grant’s misplaced pass, and Wright pushed forward into space, finding Dante Perez who scored the easy goal.
Shortly after the Rutgers goal, Connor Maloney went down after a collision with Rutgers’ Dante Perez who was given a yellow card after the incident. Maloney stayed down on the field for several minutes before being helped off of the field by the training staff. Luckily for Penn State, Maloney was reintroduced into the game later in the second half.
Pierre Reedy nearly scored midway through the second half after an impressive run down the right flank. Reedy fired the ball through the legs of the Rutgers goalie who got just enough of the ball to slow it down, allowing a Rutgers defender to clear it off the goal line.
In the 76th minute, Reedy lofted a pass over the Rutgers defenders, which found Connor Maloney. Maloney took the ball down and picked out the bottom corner of the net to give Penn State a 2-1 lead. With only two minutes left in the second half, Rutgers evened the game back up off of a corner. The ball was deflected around in the box and found its way to the far post, leading to an easy Rutgers goal. This goal sent the game into overtime.
Connor Maloney had one of the only clear goal-scoring chances of the first overtime period, but was unable to give the Nittany Lions the sudden-death victory. However, he would find Aymar Sigue in the 108th minute for the eventual game-winner.
Player of the Match
Connor Maloney | Midfielder | Senior
Connor Maloney had another electric night for the Nittany Lions. His reintroduction into the game in the second half exemplified his importance to the team. His goal not only came at an important time, but it also took tremendous skill. Maloney also came through with the assist to Sigue that sealed the game.
Penn State will take on Wright State at home on Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m.