Penn State Men’s Soccer Dominates Detroit Mercy 3-0
Penn State men’s soccer (9-3-3, 4-2-1 Big Ten) dominated Detriot Mercy (4-8-3, 3-2-2 Horizon League) in its last home game of the regular season Wednesday night.
Captains Femi Awodesu and Peter Mangione scored in their second consecutive games for the blue and white in what may be their last game at Jeffrey Field, with Matthew Henderson also finding his first goal. Kris Shakes and the defense were never truly tested in yet another shutout.
How It Happened
Penn State started on the attack, recording a shot in the first 30 seconds.
The Nittany Lions won a penalty kick after Morgan Marshall was knocked down by goalkeeper Quinn Tews at the top of the box. Mangione stepped up and blasted the kick into the left corner to put Penn State up just six minutes in.
The Nittany Lions continued to control the game and Detroit Mercy didn’t see any substantial possession until the 20th minute when it won its first corner but quickly fouled and turned the ball back over.
Penn State returned to the offensive, passing the ball through the midfield but struggling to find a real breakthrough to the net. Samson Kpardeh toyed with the Titan’s defense, breaking past three players and getting a shot off but his work was void after he was called for a controversial foul.
The Nittany Lions found another big chance with under ten minutes left in the half, with Marshall’s shot curling just wide of the post to mark their sixth shot on the night.
The Titan’s goal kick seemed to give them a surge of hope to end the half, as they started to attack and cross the ball into the box. Awodesu was able to intercept the ball and stop the threat to end the half with Penn State in the lead, 1-0.
Penn State returned strong from halftime, immediately controlling the tempo. Ben Liscum received the ball in the middle and sent it through to Awodesu who blasted it into the back of the net from the top of the box, 2-0.
Awodesu had another shot just two minutes later after winning a corner kick for the Nittany Lions. Henderson took the kick in the 53rd minute, curling it right above Tews’ head and into the net to put Penn State up by three.
Penn State made some substitutions in the 60th minute, with Freddie Bell returning for his first game since October 7. The Titans took advantage of these switches and went on the attack, forcing Shakes to make a jumping save to get to a corner kick.
Nothing came of the corner kick and Penn State was able to win back possession, controlling the tempo once more. Atem Kato fired a low shot in the 80th to attempt to make it 4-0 but Tews stepped up with a big diving save to keep it at three.
The Nittany Lions passed the ball around but could not find a breakthrough in the final ten minutes and secured their 3-0 win.
- This win is a bright look to end Penn State’s season. After the loss against Rutgers, there were worries of a pessimistic Penn State team, but it secured another big win to carry the momentum to its final match and chance at the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday.
- Penn State’s offense was clicking tonight. The team had nine shots with five on goal in a strong offensive showing. The team sometimes overly relies on through balls, as shown through the nine offsides it received tonight.
- Awodesu has stepped up into a CDM role, and it is paying off big. Awodesu has been on fire, scoring in his last three games and becoming a midfield maestro for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State will travel to Wisconsin for its last game of the regular season at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. The game will be streamed on BTN+.
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About the Author
Kotelnicki’s hiring was first reported Thursday afternoon.
Most of our staffers have Penn State playing in the Peach Bowl for the first time in program history.
Kotelnicki has everything he needs to succeed at Penn State. Can he break the Nittany Lions’ trend of flops at the offensive coordinator position?