Penn State Men’s Soccer Survives Late Maryland Onslaught To Win Season Opener 3-2

Penn State men’s soccer (1-0) defeated Maryland (0-1) 3-2 in the squad’s first matchup of the season Friday night in Holuba Hall. 

It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but first half goals from Andrew Privett, Pierre Reedy, and Peter Mangione was enough to see the Terrapins off. 

How It Happened

The first action of the match occurred just over five minutes in, as the Nittany Lions were rewarded a free kick deep in Terrapin territory. The shot resulted in a favorable ricochet, which led to the first Penn State goal of the season by midfielder Andrew Privett for an early 1-0 advantage. 

Following the goal, the visitors continued to push the pace by receiving multiple, quality shots on goal. Despite the Terrapins advancing, the Penn State defense, anchored by senior leader Brandon Hackenberg, was able to weather the storm by limiting lengthy possessions. 

Towards the midway point of the opening half, the fortuitous Terps were rewarded a penalty kick after Alex Stevenson fouled a Maryland attacker in the box. Luckily for Penn State, Brayan Padilla missed wide-left on the ensuing penalty kick to keep the Nittany Lions in the driver’s seat.

After controlling the ball for the majority of the period following the Maryland penalty kick, the Nittany Lions scored on yet another high-lofted strike at the 25:05 mark. Fifth-year senior Pierre Reedy caught the Maryland defensive line out with a crafty in-and-out move to clear the way for the second Nittany Lion goal of the game, contributing to a favorable 2-0 lead. 

The Penn State attack continued to put on a clinic in the opening 45 minutes, as the midfield capitalized on yet another scoring opportunity to extend the margin to 3-0 moments later. After a fantastic cross led a header towards the six-yard box, freshman Peter Mangione scored his first goal of his collegiate career on a low-bulleted shot towards the bottom left corner. 

In a quick change of pace, Nittany Lion defender Alex Stephenson picked up a yellow card deep in Maryland territory to set up another first-half penalty kick. This time, Shakes was unable to come up with the stop, as Terrapin freshman Joe Suchecki nailed the first score of the contest for the visitors to close the gap to a 3-1 margin.

The second half started slow for both squads, as the two conference favorites combined for just five shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of action. Despite the scoring drought, the Nittany Lions were able to rip off a plethora of quality looks, including an excellent header intended for the center of the net. 

With less than 20 minutes remaining, Maryland’s spirited attempt at a comeback began to take shape behind a fantastic upper-left corner conversion from freshman Jacen Russell-Rose. 

Despite surrendering its once comfortable lead, Penn State’s defense was able to get enough stops down the stretch to earn a 3-2 victory. The unit defined toughness throughout the match, and was able to finish Maryland possessions with crucial clear-out to neutralize the shifty frontline of the opposition. 

Player Of The Match

Pierre Reedy | Redshirt Senior | Midfielder

The fifth-year staple manning the midfield scored a crucial goal on a twitchy move to help the Nittany Lions burst to a quick 2-0 lead. Furthermore, Reedy fired two additional quality shots on goal to spark offense for the home squad. 

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will travel to Rutgers on Tuesday, February 12 for its second conference matchup of the season. Kickoff from Piscataway is set for 12 p.m.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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