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No. 21 Penn State Men’s Soccer Falls 1-0 To Syracuse In Nail-Biter

Penn State men’s soccer (0-1-1) lost to Syracuse (2-0-0) 1-0 in New York Sunday evening.

After an action-packed first half with a fairly equal matchup, Syracuse turned on the rockets and upped its pressure in the second half. Syracuse’s Colin Biros landed a goal with just ten minutes to go, and the Nittany Lions were unable to make a comeback.

How It Happened

Syracuse got the offensive lead at the beginning of the match and stormed Penn State’s goal. Keeper Kris Shakes established his skill in goal early on with two stunning saves in the first ten minutes.

In the 16th minute of the match, Andrew Privett crossed the ball to Sean Bettenhausen, who lobbed a shot at the top of the goal. Syracuse’s keeper, Lucas Daunhauer, hit the ball over the crossbar and kept the score tied at zero.

Shakes collided with Nathan Opoku just outside of goal in the 25th minute, and Penn State’s Olu Ogunwale was given a yellow card. Syracuse fans argued for a handball call on Tyger Evans, but the referee didn’t call it in the midst of the chaos.

Both Syracuse and Penn State had a strong offensive showing throughout the first half, accumulating nine and seven shots, respectively, by the end of the half.

Privett was a standout player for Penn State’s first 45, taking the majority of the shots and creating some pressure on ‘Cuse’s back line.

Opening the second half, Syracuse pressed Shakes and Penn State’s four-man backline. Although the effort was there, no goals resulted from the few shots and corners Syracuse took.

Ogunwale was fouled just to the left of the 18 in the 57th minute, giving Syracuse a dangerous free kick taken by Giona Leibold. Leibold’s cross landed in front of the goal, but Penn State’s defense swiftly cleared the box and prevented a goal.

Syracuse took its fifth corner of the half in the 65th minute hoping to tally a point for the Orange. The Nittany Lions stacked the box full of defenders and continued to fight the constant pressure coming from Syracuse’s forwards.

In the 68th minute, Seth Kuhn was fouled about 24 yards from the goal, giving Syracuse a free kick. Penn State’s defensive wall blocked the shot taken by Biros, then Shakes saved the second shot Biros took.

Kuhn took a free kick that gave Penn State a header shot opportunity from Evans in minute 73. The ball made it past Syracuse’s keeper into the net, but it didn’t count due to an offsides call on the Nittany Lions.

Shakes made an incredible save just one minute later, running out to the edge of the six to pressure a Syracuse forward who dished the ball back to the center of the goal. Penn State’s defense was there to clear, and Shakes made it back in seconds to smother the ball.

In minute No. 80, Syracuse won possession from a Penn State throw, carrying the ball up the field where Opoku fed a beautiful ball to Biros, who nutmegged Penn State’s defense and landed the first goal of the match. Syracuse took a 1-0 lead.

After that goal, Shakes got caught in the middle of the celebration, and Syracuse’s bench got a yellow card for time-wasting. No card was shown for the arm to the back Shakes suffered.

The Nittany Lions were unable to make the comeback and suffered their first loss of the season.

Player Of The Match

Kris Shakes | Goalkeeper

Shakes’ ability in goal is insane. The senior keeper is not afraid to take risks, resulting in some incredible saves that very well could have slipped past other goalies.

Although Syracuse was able to land a goal toward the end of the half, Shakes had nine saves and managed his defense well to prevent the other 29 shots from turning into goals.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will come home to face West Virginia at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 2, for their “800 Strong” theme night.

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About the Author

Mackenna Yount

Mackenna is a junior food science major from Manitou Springs, Colorado, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She loves food, is addicted to coffee, and can give you random facts or bad jokes that you didn't ask for. Ask her to bake gluten-free goodies so she has an excuse to try out new cupcake flavors. Mackenna can be contacted via Twitter @mackennayount (especially if you want to show off your best dad jokes) or you can shoot her an email at [email protected].

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