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Penn State Men’s Soccer Falls 2-1 To Akron

Penn State men’s soccer (8-4-1) could not generate any substantial offensive momentum and lost 2-1 to Akron (7-3-2) Wednesday night.

The Nittany Lions faced a strong Akron offense that didn’t let up throughout the match. Although a late goal from Dax Hoffman got Penn State on the scoreboard, the Akron Zips proved to be too much to overcome.

With the loss, Penn State’s three-match winning streak is now no more.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions played a rather reactive game in the first half of the match and failed to get any offensive momentum started. 

In the sixth minute, Akron found the back of the net off a corner kick, but the goal was called back, as the Zips were offside.

The Zips struck first in the 15th minute when a Ryan Kingsford header slid past Kris Shakes. Malik Henry found space in the midfield, took advantage of an off-balance Nittany Lions backline, and connected with Kingsford.

Once again, Penn State was caught on its back foot in the 20th minute. Diogo Pacheco broke free from the midfield and found Dyson Clapier at the six-yard line, where he drove the ball past Shakes.

The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room down 2-0 at halftime. Akron outshot Penn State 10-0, and the Zips were absolutely locked in on offense.

The first half showcased a tired Penn State lineup that couldn’t get things going offensively.

The second half began in a similar manner, as the Zips dominated the field and maintained possession on the Nittany Lions’ half.

In the 57th minute, Shakes made an impressive save at the near-post to keep the Nittany Lions in the match.

Andrew Privett created the first real opportunity of the night in the 67th minute, but he sent the shot wide of the goal.

Dax Hoffman finally found the goal in the 83rd minute. A corner kick from Seth Kuhn was cleared on the Akron goal line, only for Hoffman to send a rocket of a shot past goalkeeper, Will Meyer.

However, that’s all the Nittany Lions would get, and Akron would hold on to win 2-1.

Takeaways

  • The Penn State midfield was seemingly disengaged. The first half featured several breakaway opportunities for Akron, and the Nittany Lions’ backline was left to fend for themselves. Some viewers may have considered this offensive lull to be a result of Andrew Privett and Liam Butts starting on the bench, however, there was no midfield activity to transition the play offensively. Coach Jeff Cook inserted Privett and Butts into the match in the 27th minute, but the midfield still struggled to connect with the forwards throughout the remainder of the game.
  • The Nittany Lions’ defensive line played well against a fast, aggressive Akron offense. The group, including Shakes, prevented several Zips shots from adding to the scoreboard. Moreover, defender Dax Hoffman scored the only goal of the match for Penn State, further establishing the importance of the Nittany Lions’ defensive line.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return to Jeffrey Field to face Indiana at noon on Sunday, October 17. The match will be broadcast live 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 about random, fun stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to share 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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