Penn State Men’s Soccer Clinches Regular-Season Title With 2-0 Win Over Wisconsin
Penn State men’s soccer (10-6-1, 6-2-0 Big Ten) closed out its regular season with a 2-0 road win over Wisconsin (7-6-3, 3-4-1 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon. Following the Nittany Lions win and an Indiana loss, Penn State is heading into the Big Ten Tournament at the No. 1 ranked seed.
The Nittany Lions celebrate their first Big Ten regular-season championship since 2013 and end Indiana’s three-year monopoly of the title.
Seth Kuhn had two incredible goals to seal the deal on Penn State’s No. 1 Big Ten postseason ranking.
How It Happened
The first 20 minutes of the match consisted of minimal substantial possession from either team. Both the Nittany Lions and the Badgers had trouble conjuring any offensive momentum because of a packed midfield on both sides.
Danny Bloyou created the first consequential play of the match in the 18th minute when he connected with Seth Kuhn at the top of the penalty box. Kuhn sent a laser of a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net, leaving no time for sophomore goalkeeper Carter Abbott to even react.
The play started to get fairly choppy after Kuhn’s goal and as the Nittany Lions were beginning to hit their stride. Aggression was seemingly Wisconsin’s only response to a 1-0 deficit. The Badgers earned two yellow cards in the span of seven minutes after Kuhn’s notch on the scoreboard.
Penn State had a solid opportunity in the 39th minute off a free-kick just outside of the box. Kuhn lined up for the kick and found Brandon Hackenberg at the far post, but the shot went high and wide of Abbott’s net.
Wisconsin had several shots in the last two minutes of the half but failed to convert. The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room up one goal with some room to breathe after outshooting the Badgers 5-3.
After the break, the wind most definitely acted as the third competitor of the match, but it ultimately sided with Penn State. With the wind at his back, goalkeeper Kris Shakes created several opportunities to send goal kicks much further than usual and provide his offense with more goal-scoring chances. However, the Nittany Lion offense was unable to rack up the score.
There was little excitement throughout the second half because neither team was able to generate much offensive strength. The play was back and forth for the majority of the half with only a few moments of opportunity.
Liam Butts came the closest to the goal in the 79th minute but sent it inches wide of the far post.
Seth Kuhn sealed the game in the 83rd minute with a beautiful, one-time hooking shot from far out. Andrew Privett served the ball to Kuhn who didn’t hesitate to take the confident shot from a tough angle. It’s unclear whether the ball was intended as a cross or for the back of the net, but Kuhn ultimately decided the match with this play.
Player Of The Match
Seth Kuhn | Midfield
Seth Kuhn continues to show up big when it counts. Two goals from Kuhn closed out the Nittany Lions’ regular-season stretch and cemented their No. 1 seed heading into the postseason. Additionally, Kuhn scored the game-tying goal in the absolute thriller against Maryland on Tuesday, providing the necessary adrenaline that led to the huge comeback win.
Penn State men’s soccer will begin its campaign in the Big Ten tournament on Sunday, November 7. The No. 1 seeded Nittany Lions will host the match at Jeffrey Field but the opponent and kickoff time is currently unknown.
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