MSOC: Penn State Tops Oakland in OT Victory
UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State Nittany Lions hosted the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Jeffrey Field on Monday night. The Nittany Lions won in thrilling fashion, 2-1, in overtime.
“We had a mission to come out tonight with a win and that’s the most important thing, we did that,” Penn State defender Dani Marks said.
The first half saw strong defensive play for both teams, while the Blue and White also dominated the transitioning midfield with senior Connor Maloney at the helm.
The Nittany Lions and the Golden Grizzlies’ offensive struggles stemmed from their inability to connect through the transitioning third. As the half progressed, each team grew increasingly frustrated with their lack of offensive output; the Nittany Lions’ offensive scheme had the right idea with quick give and goes, but failed to capitalize and communicate.
Oakland and Penn State’s frustrations surfaced through each of their five fouls and combined two yellow cards. Maloney capitalized on Oakland defender Willie Maddox’s yellow card right outside of Oakland’s 18 with a rocket to the bottom right corner of the net to put the Nittany Lions on the board.
Maloney’s goal pushed the Nittany Lions into a 1-0 lead early in the first half, with his third goal of the season.
The second half saw heightened emotions with more fouls, increased tempo and a scuffle after Oakland’s defender, Nyal Higgins, received a yellow card outside of their own box. Both teams and fans felt the intensity of play especially after Oakland’s defender, Chase Jabbori, scored with 5:18 left in the half.
“I think once we concided the goal, it was pretty obvious that the momentum would be on their side. It was pretty tough to deal with but we ended up dealing with it,” Marks said. “So I am pretty happy with it...coach told us, which we already knew, this is our home game, our home field, we aren’t going to lose at home.”
Monday night’s excitement carried into overtime between the Nittany Lions and the Golden Grizzlies, but the Blue and White faithful’s Aymar Sigue, junior forward, sealed their fate with a rebounded shot that drilled into the bottom right corner across Oakland’s goalkeeper, Zach Walker.
“He is a difference maker for our team and he helped us a ton against Stanford and he is going to help us a ton in the future,” said head coach Bob Warming.
That was Sigue’s first goal of the season after missing the team’s stint in California to train with Canada’s national team in Costa Rica.
“I haven’t been here, I’ve been in Costa Rica with the national team so, the fact that [coach] trusted me enough to put me in was unreal,” Sigue said as he described the emotion following his game-winning overtime goal. “They all tackled me and I couldn’t even breathe, but it was the best feeling in the world. My first goal, here at home, was unbelievable.”
The Penn State Nittany Lions hope to continue their winning ways this Friday against the Saint Francis Red Flash at 8 p.m. for another home game at Jeffrey Field.
Madeleine Balestrier is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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