Penn State Men’s Soccer Can’t Tame The Tigers in 2-1 Loss
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s soccer team came into today looking to extend its two-game winning streak, but came up just short in a 2-1 loss to Princeton Friday night at Jeffrey Field.
Both teams came into the game as conference champs with Princeton winning the Ivy League and Penn State winning the Big Ten last season. Tensions were elevated as both sides played aggressively and tempers were flaring.
“There’s been a big movement in the NCAA to control reckless challenges and overly aggressive play and I think that was not put into effect tonight,” head coach Jeff Cook said.
The Princeton Tigers came out hot to start the game and applied a lot of aggressive pressure to the Penn State defense. Neither side had much success in generating scoring chances until the 42nd minute when Penn State’s Jalen Watson was issued a yellow card just outside the box.
Princeton was able to capitalize on the opportunity and struck first with a goal by midfielder Mateo Godoy. The Nittany Lions would waste little time and respond with a goal of their own by Alex Stevenson after a corner kick delivery from Tyger Evans with 16 seconds left in the first half.
Both teams started the second half with a couple scoring chances but were unable to find the back of the net. The game remained tied at one for the first half of the second 45 minutes of play.
The Tigers continued to work on their attacking half when a shot by Daniel Diaz Bonilla hit off the crossbar and the rebound was finished off by Ryan Clare to give Princeton the 2-1 lead.
The Nittany Lions would be chasing for the rest of the game and created multiple scoring chances. An injury to forward Liam Butts in the first half would prove to be crucial as the Penn State offense never got going.
“He clearly changes the dynamic of the game,” Cook said. “Certainly a big loss for us tonight.”
With the time winding down in the game, the Nittany Lions went into full desperation mode and pushed to get the equalizer. They thought they had done it after a through ball to Peter Mangione inside the box found its way to midfielder Seth Kuhn who put it in the back of the net. The goal was waived off as Mangione was ruled offside.
“I just think Peter anticipated a little bit early,” Kuhn said. “It’s a tough one.”
That would be the best opportunity that Penn State would have for the rest of the game and they would come up just short as time ran out.
The Nittany Lions’ players and coaching staff were visibly frustrated with the officiating but will look to rebound in their next game as they take on Lehigh at Jeffrey Field on Monday before starting Big Ten play.
“It’s important that we don't allow one result either way to affect the season,” Cook said. “We just have to get ready for Monday now and be more aggressive.”
Thomas English is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.