Penn State Men’s Soccer Falls 1-0 To Oregon State

Penn State men’s soccer suffered its third defeat of the season Monday against Oregon State, losing 1-0 to a compact and offensively creative team. 

Carlos Moliner’s unstoppable first-half volley put the Beavers in the lead, and the Nittany Lions were unable to equalize despite several dangerous late chances. 

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions created several scoring chances early in the first half, including a long shot from central midfielder Aaron Molloy that narrowly missed wide. But both teams struggled to maintain the pace of the first several minutes of the half, playing in 88-degree weather under little cloud cover.

Outside midfielder Austin Maloney was fouled just outside the Oregon State penalty area in the 12th minute, but Penn State failed to convert the ensuing free kick cross from Callum Pritchatt. 

Oregon State threatened throughout the first half, pressing the Nittany Lions and serving several dangerous crosses into Penn State’s penalty area. The Beavers’ breakthrough came in the 24th minute from a corner kick. Captain Dani Marks headed Albert Pedra’s cross outside the Penn State penalty area, but his clearance bobbled into the path of Carlos Moliner. Moliner then hit an unstoppable half-volley shot from 20 yards out into the left side of Josh Levine’s net.

Head coach Jeff Cook attempted to inject some creativity into the offense by moving Molloy forward and bringing in defensive midfielder Mitchel Bringolf to protect the backline. But Oregon State dropped several players into its defense, and managed to maintain its 1-0 lead to end the half in front. 

Cook continued to make changes to Penn State’s tactics. The Nittany Lions began the second half in a more attacking formation and pressed Oregon State’s defense aggressively. Aaron Molloy won the ball deep in the Beavers’ half in the 46th minute and played a pass to Kyle Perno, but the junior’s left-footed shot was high. 

The Nittany Lions looked vulnerable on the counter attack, but Oregon State’s Glorie Amanda and Adrian Crespo were unable to score from several open opportunities. 

Penn State pressed forward desperately in the final ten minutes of the match, earning two late corner kicks that looked certain goals but were cleared by the Oregon State defense. 

The Beavers almost doubled their lead in the final minute action when Amanda broke forward with only Levine to beat at midfield. But the Penn State goalkeeper managed to slow him down, and then swatted the ball away from Eric Diaz’s feet in the penalty area.

Oregon State held on to its 1-0 lead to win the match and hand the Nittany Lions their third defeat of the season. 

Player of the Match

Ryan Gallagher| Senior| Defender

Gallagher has been solid for the Nittany Lions at right back this season, performing his usual safe defensive duties while contributing on offense. He was able to get forward against Oregon State to serve dangerous crosses, and made a last-ditch tackle that saved the Nittany Lions from conceding a second time in the 77th minute.

What’s Next?

Penn State (1-3) travels to Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania to face Villanova Friday, September 7 at 8:00 p.m. 

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor 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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