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Penn State Men’s Soccer Defeats Michigan State 1-0 With Last-Minute Score

A last-minute goal from Danny Bloyou lifted Penn State men’s soccer (5-2-1) to a 1-0 win over Michigan State (4-1-2) in a competitive match in East Lansing Friday night.

A red card early in the second half helped the Nittany Lions capitalize on Michigan State’s 10-man lineup.

How It Happened

Coach Jeff Cook debuted a familiar starting lineup with an intimidating front-line composed of Danny Bloyou, Liam Butts, and attacking center-midfielder, Peter Mangione.

The Nittany Lions set the pace of the match early, as Mangione put immediate pressure on the Spartan’s backline in the first several minutes of play.

The ninth minute of the match featured a breakaway from Butts, who found Mangione in the box, but Mangione’s shot went high of the Spartans’ goalkeeper, Hunter Morse.

Although most of the early play from both teams could be considered sloppy, both Penn State and Michigan State had several opportunities in their opponent’s final third of the pitch but ultimately failed to capitalize.

A free-kick was awarded in the 33rd minute right outside of the goal box as a result of a late challenge from Brandon Hackenberg. Kris Shakes made a massive save to keep the Nittany Lions in the match. 

Michigan State maintained the majority of possession throughout the first half, but both teams went into the locker room scoreless after the first 45 minutes.

The first bout of excitement in the second half featured three monumental chances off of corner kicks for the Nittany Lions. Seemingly every offensive player for Penn State had a stab at the ball in the box, but the Spartans managed to keep it out of the net.

Penn State clearly came out of the locker room fired up. Seth Kuhn forced the Spartan keeper, Morse, to lay out in the 54th minute.

The tone for the rest of the match was set when Michigan State’s Jack Zugay was given a red card, forcing the Spartans to play with ten men. The foul took down Peter Mangione, who received help from trainers, but later returned to the match in good spirits.

Penn State continued to dominate the Spartans’ half of the pitch and attempted to exploit the 10-man lineup.

After constant pressure from the Nittany Lions up front, Danny Bloyou finally secured a goal in the 87th minute. Morse mishandled a shot at the 6-yard line and he paid the price when Bloyou ran through the ball to find the back of the net.

Takeaway

  • Fans of both teams were likely expecting an offensive showdown in this match. Penn State’s Peter Mangione and Michigan State’s Farai Mutatu are tied for the most goals in the Big Ten, each with five. However, this was not the case, as the defense on both sides played phenomenally. Kris Shakes was seriously tested only once but came up huge for the Nittany Lions. On the other side, Hunter Morse contributed similarly for the Spartans and saved four Penn State shots that were bound to hit the back of the net. Brandon Hackenberg and his back line remained sturdy throughout the match but were not critically tested in the second half.

Player Of The Match

Danny Bloyou | Forward

Danny Bloyou clinched the game-winner for the Nittany Lions, who are now 2-0 in Big Ten play. Bloyou was not heavily involved in the majority of the match but absolutely made it count when it was necessary. Bloyou has now contributed two goals and three assists this season.

What’s Next?

Penn State will hit the road once again and head to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face No. 24 Rutgers. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday on BTN+.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks sports on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to discuss your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or send your best Spotify playlist to her email [email protected]

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