Penn State Men’s Soccer Falls To Hofstra In NCAA Tournament
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Hofstra Pride defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 8-2 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at Jeffrey Field in University Park. Hofstra’s Roc Carles and Hendrik Hebbeker each scored two goals in its victory.
Hofstra’s eight goals were the most scored by any team in one game thus far through the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State was the No. 12 seed and competed following a first-round bye. Hofstra beat Lipscomb 4-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday before traveling to University Park.
Neither squad dominated any major statistical category except for corners and the obvious, goals. Penn State recorded 11 corners to Hofstra’s four.
Carles and Hebbeker were team players and major contributors to Hofstra’s success. On top of their goals, each player was credited with an assist.
Carles did not miss a beat. He had two total shots, which were both on goal resulting in goals for the Pride.
Hebbeker made his presence felt, booting five total shots with three hitting the net. Two of the three shots on goal made it past Nittany Lion goalkeeper Kris Shakes.
Shots on goal were a slight issue for Penn State as it only had seven to Hofstra’s 11. The Pride had a significantly higher success rate when launching the ball at the net.
The Pride scored on eight of the 11 shots on goal while the Nittany Lions struggled only finding the back of the net on two of their seven shots on goal.
Penn State powered through a difficult week of practice as 12 players were out of commission with illnesses unrelated to COVID-19. Penn State head coach Jeff Cook supported and defended his team.
“From where we were when I arrived in January of 2018 to today is incredible and they deserve great credit,” Cook said. “They did not deserve this week.”
Cook emphasized that the program does not make any excuses, but thanked the players for their efforts. Cook felt bad for the seniors and commended them on their contributions to the program.
Cook believes the team needs to take the current success to the next level in the future in order to represent this squad of players.
“In order to respect what our seniors have done and what all of these players have done, it is almost our responsibility to compete again for the Big Ten title,” Cook said.
Lastly, Cook congratulated Hofstra and made clear it deserved the victory.
The Nittany Lions are officially eliminated from the NCAA Tournament and finished the season with an overall record of 13-7-1. The Pride improved to 18-1-2 with the win and will move on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament to face the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.