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Penn State Men’s Soccer Outlasts Maryland 1-0

Penn State men’s soccer (4-1-2, 2-0 Big Ten) took down Maryland (1-3-2, 0-1-1 Big Ten) in its home conference opener and 11th annual Mack Brady match Tuesday night.

Captain Peter Mangione scored the lone goal for the Nittany Lions donning retro pink and black jerseys in what was a slow game for most of the night.

How It Happened

Despite controlling possession, Maryland struggled to push upfield in the first five minutes of play. The Terrapins were awarded a corner in the third minute, but the Nittany Lions cleared it away with ease.

Both defenses remained stout as the first half progressed. Neither team maintained possession in the opponent’s half and struggled to get into the attacking zones.

Maryland was awarded its second corner of the game in the 13th minute and followed this with the game’s first shot on goal courtesy of Luca Costabile. Penn State goalkeeper Kris Shakes saved this attempt and thwarted any follow-up from the Terrapins.

Penn State broke through the Maryland defense in the 18th minute with a run from midfielder Van Danielson. The Nittany Lions were awarded their third and fourth corner kicks of the game, both of which were sent away by the Maryland defenders.

The Nittany Lions’ defense continued to stifle any Maryland advance into their half of the field. Penn State’s backline continued to hold strong and challenged the Terrapin attackers at every juncture.

The game’s first substitutions came in the 30th minute as both teams made a change to their personnel. Penn State head coach Jeff Cook called on defender Morgan Marshall to replace Ben Liscum.

Both teams saw their first big chances in the 34th minute, as Maryland got behind the Penn State defense and fired a shot that was blocked by a Penn State defender. The Nittany Lions followed on the counterattack with a solid chance of their own: a breakaway by captain Peter Mangione. This was also blocked away by the Maryland backline.

Maryland received its first yellow card of the evening in the 37th minute of action as Bjarne Theisen. Penn State fired a promising free kick but it was swatted away by Maryland goalkeeper Mikah Seger.

Penn State opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a goal from Mangione, who fired a shot past Seger. The shot from Mangione came from the top of the box and beat Seger to his right.

Mangione began the second half with a great scoring chance for a chance at a brace. He received the ball in the box and fired a shot at the Maryland goalkeeper, but it was cleared before reaching Seger. Penn State was awarded a corner shortly after, but Maryland got the ball away without much of an issue.

The Terrapins followed the Penn State opportunity with a beautiful chance of their own. A defensive breakdown by Penn State led to a shot by Maryland forward Stefan Copetti. Shakes once again proved just how valuable he is to the Nittany Lions and made a lunging save on the shot.

Mangione saw another chance at his second goal of the game in the 56th minute of action. This was subsequently cleared by Seger. It was a relatively easy save, but Mangione continued to impact the game.

Maryland controlled possession for much of the second half as it searched for the equalizer. The Nittany Lions’ defense remained resilient through a litany of Terrapin attacks. Maryland struggled to get past the backline of the Penn State defense as it was often stifled as soon as the attack reached the box. The Terrapins were awarded a corner in the 75th minute, but the defense made easy use of it.

The final 10 minutes of play began with a great chance by Penn State defender Alex Stevenson. The fifth-year was alone in the box and fired a shot at Seger, who made the save. Finally generating consistent attacks, the Nittany Lions were awarded two corners in the 80th and 81st minutes. The second led to yet another chance from Mangione, who nearly squeaked the ball past Seger.

The 83rd minute saw Penn State defender Femi Awodesu awarded a yellow card and an ensuing Maryland free kick. Shakes came up big once again and safely caught the kick.

In the final five minutes of the game, Maryland saw a couple of chances that were thwarted by Shakes and the Penn State defense. With seconds to go in the game, Maryland’s Max Riley fired a shot that just missed the net, failing to give the Terrapins the equalizer. Penn State held on for the 1-0 win.

Takeaways

  • The two teams used the first half to feel each other out which led to an action-packed second half of the match. Penn State had its share of chances but often was out-possessed by the Terrapins and spent a significant amount of time in their half.
  • Goalkeeper Kris Shakes continues to prove just how valuable he is to this Nittany Lions team. The fifth-year came up with a flurry of huge saves throughout the game. Shakes continues to cement himself as not only one of the Big Ten’s top goalkeepers but is right there with the best goalkeepers in the country.
  • Penn State head coach Jeff Cook reached a milestone 50th win with the Nittany Lions tonight.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to North Carolina to take on North Carolina-Greensboro at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 23.

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About the Author

Dennis Wilkins

Dennis is a third-year journalism major from Brick, New Jersey. He has a love-hate relationship with every team he roots for, especially the New York Giants. When he's not watching Jack Hughes highlights, he can be found playing golf or listening to music. Direct all complaints to him via email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@denniswilkins27).

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