Men’s Soccer Hangs With No. 1 Indiana in Defeat
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Men’s Soccer continued to play tough against ranked teams in its 1-0 loss Saturday night against the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Nittany Lions faced No. 3 Maryland in September and kept the match within reach until late, before a Maryland goal in the 88th minute sealed the 2-0 victory for the Terrapins. The Nittany Lions also took the No. 20 Michigan Wolverines into double overtime last Sunday, but lost in the 104th minute after a goal off the foot of Michigan’s Jack Hallahan.
While Penn State’s offense was almost nonexistent in the first half against Indiana – the Nittany Lions managed just a single shot in the first 45 minutes – the defense managed to hold Indiana’s prolific goal scoring attack to just a single goal from redshirt freshman Spencer Glass. The header into the back of the net by Glass in the 20th minute would prove to be all the scoring Indiana needed.
Penn State picked up the offensive pace with five shots in the latter part of the second half, but silly turnovers and ferocious pressure from the Indiana defense prevented the Nittany Lions from putting together extended possessions or converting opportunities. In total, Penn State got off six shots with just three on goal while the Hoosiers fired 24 total shots, 12 of which were on goal.
Despite falling to 2-7-2 on the season and 0-5-0 within the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions left the field with their heads held high.
“It’s nothing to do with the score line,” said redshirt junior captain Dani Marks of Penn State’s ability to keep it competitive against the top-ranked Hoosiers. “For me, even if it finished 3-0, we proved that we’re able to play at that level.”
Other Nittany Lions saw improvement in the team’s level of play too, and now look towards the team’s upcoming four-game road trip to start winning games.
“We’re much better now than we were one game ago, and we’re better than the game before that,” said redshirt freshman goalkeeper Josh Levine, who made his second career start Saturday. “I think we have a great opportunity coming up for us to get out of town a little bit and clear our minds and start getting some results."
Levine is standing in for Penn State’s veteran goalie Evan Finney, who is out for the season with a torn meniscus after playing very well for Penn State in the early part of its schedule.
“It’s devastating for anybody to have knee surgery during the season,” coach Bob Warming said of what Finney is going through, “but when you’re a senior in your last year, it’s just awful.”
Warming, who’s harped on coming together as a team, did say that Finney’s teammates and the team’s staff are supporting him as best they can as he goes through the recovery process.
Nittany Lion forward Aaron Molloy, an Ireland native, shined for Penn State despite the loss. The sophomore was a ball hawk in the middle of the field, putting defensive pressure on the Hoosiers and hustling to create turnovers and scoring chances.
He and the rest of the Nittany Lions will look to end their four-game losing skid October 10 when Penn State travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers.
Tyler Olson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact him, email email@example.com.