Men’s Soccer Defeats Northwestern 2-1 In Final Regular Season Match

Penn State (5-9-2) defeated Northwestern (6-10) 2-1 at Jeffrey field on Sunday, extending its winning streak to three games going into the Big Ten playoff tournament.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions looked in control from the opening whistle of Sunday’s match, dominating possession and limiting Northwestern’s attacking opportunities despite a slick field and steady rain. Midfield conductor Aaron Molloy opened the scoring in the 17th minute, collecting a low Callum Pritchatt corner at the top of the 18 yard box and curling an unstoppable shot into the top right corner.

But the Lions were unable to preserve their lead. The Wildcats broke forward on a counter attack in the 34th minute, isolating the Penn State backline and quickly moving the ball wide to winger Drew Viscomi. Viscomi lofted a high cross into the Penn State penalty area and onto the head of midfielder Sean Lynch, who powered an unstoppable header past goalkeeper Josh Levine’s outstretched glove.

Despite outshooting the Wildcats 12-4, the Nittany lions were unable to break the deadlock before halftime and entered the break with the score tied at one.

Northwestern opened the second half with a series of dangerous attacking chances, forcing Levine to make a crucial, early one-on-one save. Ethan Beckford beat several Wildcat defenders and slipped a through ball to Cameron Steele on a counter attack in the 56th minute, but the senior forward’s finish missed wide.

Molloy broke forward again in the 67th minute, firing a low shot into the gloves of goalkeeper Robbie White. The wildcat stopper saved Molloy’s effort, but failed to prevent a rebound, giving senior forward Aymar Sigue an easy tap-in goal.

Northwestern pressed hard for an equalizer late in the match, and came close to leveling the score when midfielder Mattias Tomasino tipped a shot off the top of the crossbar. But the Lions’ defense held against the increased pressure and preserved Penn State’s 2-1 lead to the final whistle.

Player Of The Game

Aaron Molloy | Sophomore | Midfielder 

The midfielder displayed his class with inch-perfect passing and a direct role in both Penn State goals.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions enter the Big Ten playoff tournament next week, with their rank and first match yet to be announced.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is your classic confused and undecided sophomore in Penn State's Division of Undergraduate studies and a staff writer for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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