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Penn State Men’s Soccer Headed To Big Ten Final After 2-0 Win Over Michigan

No. 24 Penn State men’s soccer (12-6-1, 7-2-0 Big Ten) cruised past Michigan (8-7-3, 4-4-1 Big Ten) in the Big Ten tournament semifinal Wednesday at Jeffrey Field.

Two first-half goals from Seth Kuhn and Andrew Privett set the tone for the noon match.

How It Happened

Head coach Jeff Cook debuted a familiar, sturdy lineup against Michigan.

Kuhn made his presence known from the get-go and created several offensive combinations to pressure the Wolverines back line.

After lots of back and forth throughout the first ten minutes of play, Femi Awodesu found Peter Mangione right outside of the penalty box. Mangione was taken down just outside of the box to set up a dangerous free kick in the 12th minute.

Privett, Mangione, and Kuhn combined quickly off of the kick and Kuhn hit a one-time shot to the near post. Michigan goalkeeper Hayden Evans lunged for the shot, but watched the ball hit the back of the net.

Michigan made several attempts to answer Kuhn’s goal but could not convert in response.

Privett added to the scoreboard in the 24th minute. Privett seemingly intended to connect with Mangione at the six-yard line, only for Mangione to pull back from the header. The ball snuck past Evans, who was anticipating a Mangione near post header.

Seconds after the Wolverine kickoff, Mangione came close to his second goal of the match, but sent the shot high over Evans’ net.

In the 40th minute, Mangione hit the crossbar and the Nittany Lion stands and Park Avenue Army erupted, calling for a goal-line review. The referee signaled for video assistant referee. After video analysis, the previous call stood and the Mangione goal was not awarded.

Penn State continued to put the pressure on throughout the remainder of the first half and tested the competency of Michigan’s lineup. The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room with a confident, 2-0 lead.

Michigan returned to the pitch fired up and tested goalkeeper Kris Shakes for the first time during the match. In the 48th minute, Wolverine Uriel Zeitz sent a rocket of a shot to the corner of the goal, out of Shakes’ reach. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, the shot deflected off the left post and kept Michigan off the scoreboard.

The next big opportunity came from Dax Hoffman in the 67th minute when he attempted to flick the ball past Evans. Hoffman’s flick danced across the goal line but was cleared by a Wolverine defender.

Michigan created several opportunities to score, however, Brandon Hackenberg and his defensive unit never faltered. Shakes was more active in the second half, but was never critically tested.

Player Of The Match

Seth Kuhn, Midfield

It’s no surprise that Seth Kuhn added another goal to his stat sheet and, as always, maintained his impactful presence on the pitch. Kuhn’s 12th-minute goal set the pace for the Nittany Lions on Wednesday afternoon and Michigan was never able to respond. The goal was Kuhn’s fourth in the last four matches, reinforcing his importance to the Nittany Lions.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will finish their campaign in the Big Ten Tournament and head to the finals on November 14 at Jeffrey Field. Penn State will face the winner of Indiana vs. Northwestern. Kickoff will be at noon on Sunday and can be streamed on BTN.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a senior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in journalism. She's an associate editor and talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State, too. You can usually find her on a porch, but if not, feel free to contact Keeley on Twitter @keeleylammm or [email protected].

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