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Penn State Men’s Soccer Ties Maryland 2-2 In ‘Game Of The Season’

It was never easy, but Penn State men’s soccer (6-1-1) drew Maryland (4-3-1) 2-2 at Ludwig Field on Wednesday afternoon.

The Nittany Lions came from behind twice to push the game into overtime. Maryland scored in the right out of the gates and via a second-half penalty kick, but Peter Mangione and Pierre Reedy led the double comeback for Penn State.

Kris Shakes also saved a penalty attempt early in the second half of the game that the announcers described as the “game of the year.”

How It Happened

It couldn’t have been a worse start for the Nittany Lions. Maryland got on the board in just the second minute when Ben Bender capitalized on a deflection from a Kris Shakes save.

Sasho Cirovski’s team had all the confidence in the world after the opening goal, pummeling Shakes within the first 10 minutes of play. However, Penn State was able to stifle the Terrapins and gain some possession following a frantic start, and the Nittany Lions settled in despite being down a goal.

Penn State attacked via crosses from the wingbacks or through-balls to strikers Peter Mangione and Danny Bloyou. The Maryland defense didn’t have too much trouble with these offensive avenues, and the Nittany Lions needed to find the breakthrough elsewhere.

In the 20th minute, strong build-up play from the Nittany Lions found Mangione just where he wanted to be. The freshman cut outside in the six-yard box and tricked it past Jamie Lowell and defender Brett St. Martin for the equalizer.

Both sides had positive chances going forward following the Penn State goal. However, neither side had many opportunities to get the go-ahead goal before halftime.

Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, the second half didn’t start any better than the first. Jalen Watson took down a Maryland attacker in the box, leading to a Paul Bin penalty kick.

In a potential turning point of the game, Shakes came up big on a mediocre penalty attempt to keep the game tied.

The Nittany Lions had a good spell of possession that troubled the Maryland backline, but just 16 minutes after Bin’s miss, he earned another penalty. Malcolm Johnston converted and gave the home side the lead once again.

The game got significantly more contentious following Johnston’s goal. Penn State had the ball in dangerous areas, but loose ball fouls hurt the Nittany Lions in their attempts to tie the match.

As time winded down, it looked like Maryland had what it took to finish the job. However, Penn State continued its trend of being the most resilient team in the Big Ten.

With four minutes left, the Nittany Lions got some lucky bounces that fell at the feet of Watson at the top of the box. The sophomore collected himself and found Pierre Reedy to his left, and the redshirt senior made no mistake for his fourth of the season. Reedy’s goal sent the game to overtime, the second of Penn State’s season.

The first big chance for a golden goal came five minutes into overtime. Bloyou was sprung on the left side and found Mangione in the box. The freshman had a perfect chance to thwart Lowell, but the Maryland goalkeeper saved the day for the Terrapins with a diving deflection.

Maryland was the team with the first chance of the second overtime period. A Terrapin attacker collected the ball right on the far post, but Watson was the hero again with his outstretched tackle keeping the players on the field.

Bin got another fantastic chance with three minutes left, but Shakes made yet another highlight real stop for the Nittany Lions.

The final minute saw Danny Bloyou get two big chances. The Ghanian nearly got a shot off from close range before Lowell tipped his shot over the bar with a mere four seconds left.

In one of the national games of the season, both teams were forced to settle for one point.

Man Of The Match

Kris Shakes| Sophomore |Goalkeeper

After winning Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Tuesday, Shakes backed it up with an incredible performance in College Park.

The net-minder stopped a penalty kick, thwarted countless Maryland breakaways, and saved the Nittany Lions with five minutes left in the second overtime period. It was a complete performance from the Florida native.

Jalen Watson| Sophomore |Left Back

Pierre Reedy and Peter Mangione may have been on the score sheet, but Watson’s presence on the pitch gives him a deserved co-player of the match.

When Shakes wasn’t there to save the day, Watson was there to cover for his ‘keeper. Watson also helped out on the offensive end, getting the assist on a beautiful feed to Reedy to put the game into overtime.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will find out who their Big Ten Quarterfinal opponent is on Sunday. They will play next on April 10. Check out all the possibilities of who may visit Jeffrey Field through our guide.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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