MSOC: Lions Secure a Win in Double-Overtime
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany (4-3-1, 2-1-0 Big Ten) Lions hosted the Wisconsin Badgers (3-2-1, 2-1-0 Big Ten) at Jeffrey Field on Friday night. The Blue and White secured a 2-1 double-overtime victory without their leading scorer Connor Maloney.
“Connor is not just a lead scorer, Connor is one of the very best players in the country. We missed him a lot,” head coach Bob Warming said of Maloney.
Maloney, a senior midfielder, suffered a head injury against the Maryland Terrapins early this week, which will sideline him for the indefinite future.
The Nittany Lions and Badgers matchup created an ample amount of anticipation on both sides of the ball because of the implications of conference play and the similarities between the two opposing teams’ records.
While the Badgers had the slight edge in conference play, Penn State had the opportunity to level the playing field, especially with their starting senior goalkeeper, Evan Finney, back on the pitch after suffering a head injury earlier in the season.
“It feels great,” Finney said. “It was really emotional to get back on the field with the guys again, it meant a lot to me.”
The first half was rife with strong defensive and physical play for both teams, while Penn State and Wisconsin failed to connect and finish with either of their seven shots on net.
Both teams caliber of play clashed with the opposition, so much so that when the Badger’s junior forward, Mark Segbers, placed a ball perfectly in the Nittany Lion’s box, Dayonn Harris, a Nittany Lion sophomore forward, answered minutes later with another well placed cross on the Badger’s offensive third.
Each offensive play failed to surmount to any momentum shift or goal opportunity; a theme of the first half for the conference matchup.
Penn State and Wisconsin opened the gates of the second half with a newfound urgency and tempo. Similar to the first half, both teams found an equal balance of possession and shots.
The Nittany Lions initial goal opportunity fell in the way of an own goal by Wisconsin’s Sam Brotherton, a sophomore defender. The Nittany Lions’ sophomore midfielder, Pierre Reedy, secured the assist from the cross that misplaced Brotherton to head the ball into the upper right corner of his own net.
Although Penn State received a gift they were unable to capitalize on the momentum after Wisconsin’s junior midfielder, Christopher Mueller, laid a drill shot into the bottom right corner of Finney’s net.
Frustration and physicality were high after Mueller’s goal sent the Nittany Lions and Badgers into double-overtime play.
Austin Maloney, a Penn State sophomore midfielder, filled the absence of his older brother with the solidifying penalty kick that sent the Blue and White faithful to victory in the 108th minute of contention.
Warming said, “I was happy for Austin, it was his first goal.”
ComRadio’s coverage of the Penn State’s Men’s Soccer team continues next Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Jeffrey Field as they look forward to their next game against the Temple Owls.
Madeleine Balestrier is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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