Penn State Starts its Season with a 1-1 Draw Following Lightning Delay
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions started their season off with a 1-1 draw against the George Mason Patriots. It did not happen in traditional fashion though, as the game was called off due to lightning with just over five minutes to play in regulation.
The game got off to a relatively slow start with not a ton of opportunities for either squad. Penn State dominated the possession for most of the first half and picked up its shots on goal, but could not quite crack through the defense of the Patriots until late in the first half.
Liam Butts scored the first goal of the 2021 season for the Nittany Lions in the 38th minute off a beautiful assist from Alex Stevenson. Butts found himself with a wide open left side of the net and tapped it in with his left foot.
Penn State went into halftime feeling good about how the first 45 minutes concluded, as it had dominated in nearly every facet of the game. The blue and white led George Mason in shots 6-8, and it had the one-goal advantage.
George Mason was not going down without a fight, though. In the 66th minute the Patriots earned a corner kick, and Luciano Covella found a wide-open Louis Lehr in front of the net who headed in the equalizer.
With around 15 minutes remaining in regulation, lightning started to strike in the distance, northwest of Jeffrey Field. Fans were alerted that lighting was in the area, and they would alert them further if it got close enough to the field to delay the game.
Sure enough, with 5:11 to play, the game was put into a lightning delay. Following a 35-minute delay, the game was called. After a mutual decision by the coaching staffs to not resume the game, it officially ended in a 1-1 draw.
Both squads will move to 0-0-1 one the young 2021 season. George Mason will be back in action on Sunday afternoon for its home opener against Furman University at 1 p.m. Penn State will look to grab its first win of the season on Sunday night against Syracuse at 7 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.
Trevor Grady is a senior majoring in supply chain management. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.