Penn State Men’s Soccer Knocks Off Ohio State 1-0 In Mack Brady Match
Penn State men’s soccer (5-1) won its third straight match on Tuesday evening against Ohio State (3-3-1) 1-0 at Jeffrey Field.
Peter Mangione was the hero, scoring the decisive goal deep in the second half. The freshman scored in his return to the pitch, after sitting out for 25 days following an injury he obtained in the loss to Michigan State.
Tuesday’s match was Penn State’s annual Mack Brady match, a tradition honoring the 2012 passing of an eight year-old soccer fanatic who wanted to one day become Penn State’s goalkeeper.
How It Happened
When the lineups came out, the major absence was sophomore Liam Butts. The striker was replaced in the starting eleven with California native Josh Dabora, who received his first career start under Jeff Cook.
Dabora started up front with Danny Bloyou, a full rotation from the start of the season last month when Liam Butts and Peter Mangione led the line.
Penn State had the first chance of the match, but it was Ohio State who largely controlled the early pace of the contest. Joshua Jackson-Ketchup was lively in the attack for the Buckeyes, but Kris Shakes stood strong for the half.
The Nittany Lions began to grow into the game 20 minutes in through Bloyou. The Ghanaian pirouetted on the sideline to set up Dabora, but the redshirt sophomore couldn’t thwart Noah Lawrence for the breakthrough.
Five minutes later, Mangione and defender Alex Stevenson both made their returns to the pitch after being injured against Michigan State 25 days ago. Between Bloyou’s skill and the return of the injured players, Penn State turned the tide and dominated the remainder of the half.
Chances came thick and fast for Jeff Cook’s team. Hackenberg nearly found the top corner off of a set piece, and Mangione was close to an open goal opportunity if it wasn’t for last-ditch defending from the Buckeyes.
Despite Penn State probing the Ohio State defense relentlessly for 20 minutes, the Nittany Lions headed to the break scoreless.
The Nittany Lions came out of the locker room strong, putting Ohio State on the back foot immediately. Once again, the Buckeyes tempered Penn State and got some chances of their own.
Notably for Penn State, Jalen Watson started the second half, making him the third Nittany Lion to return from injury after the Michigan State bloodbath.
With just 20 minutes to play, Ohio State had a series of chances although two Xavier Green attempts were blocked in the penalty box. Penn State tried to spring Mangione on the counter-attack, and while the freshman didn’t get past the last defender, things calmed down for the Nittany Lions, and the home side regained sustained possession.
The move culminated with Tyger Evans splitting the defense and getting fouled just 20 yards out. Mangione belted his attempt right into the wall, but the shot represented the best chance for a breakthrough that Penn State got all half to that point.
Penn State’s pressure pushed Ohio State all the way back into its defensive third, and were unable to get the ball into their influential playmakers. Seth Kuhn recovered an attempted clearance, and drilled a low cross into Mangione, who flicked the ball past Lawrence for the 1-0 lead.
After being injured midway through the third game of the year, the freshman only took 35 minutes to get back to his scoring ways.
Green had the best chance to equalize in the closing minutes off a corner-kick, but Shakes welcomed the ball graciously into his gloves.
With just 28 seconds to play, Ohio State earned a set piece in the attacking half. With every Buckeye forward, Shakes made an acrobatic dive to corral the ball for the win.
Man Of The Match
Peter Mangione| Freshman |Striker
Peter Mangione is the real deal, folks. The freshman got up to game speed incredibly quick after taking the knock just under a month ago. He scored in both of his first two collegiate matches, and then flicked home a poachers finish to win this one. If MLS doesn’t snatch Mangione soon, he will be a high level asset for Jeff Cook for four years. That is not something the rest of Big Ten defenses want to hear.
Penn State will play its Senior Day match on Saturday against Wisconsin. The team will kickoff its final regular season game at Jeffrey Field at 2 p.m. on BTN+.
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About the Author
Just how good was that Dom DeLuca pick-six against Delaware?
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