Penn State Bests Indiana Capturing Big Ten Title
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions’ men’s soccer team enacted revenge today, defeating Indiana 3-0 in the Big Ten Championship game after falling to the Hoosiers in last year’s final.]
“What a special day for our program,” said Penn State coach Jeff Cook.
It is Penn State’s first Big Ten tournament title since 2005 and the first time since 2015 that Penn State has defeated Indiana.
The game’s opening was mostly dominated by the Hoosiers with Indiana recording 12 shots and winning five corners. The Nittany Lions could not get any offense going until later in the first half when there were cries for a possible penalty.
After being denied by the referee, the Penn State attack woke up as senior midfielder Seth Kuhn stayed red hot, slotting a goal from just outside the 18-yard box with the ball sneaking inside the near post of the goal. Hoosier junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano had no chance as the shot deflected off one of the Hoosier defenders.
Just moments later the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in sophomore midfielder Peter Mangione found himself alone on goal with Big Ten goalkeeper of the year Celentano. Ultimately it was Celentano winning the battle, fending off Mangione’s shot that only just went over the crossbar.
By halftime, Penn State was even with the Hoosiers in shots on target at four apiece. The Nittany Lions led where it mattered on the scoreboard.
Penn State continued to carry their momentum from the end of the first half into the beginning of the second. Sophomore defender Tyger Evans capitalized for the Nittany Lions about 12 minutes into the second frame for his first goal of the season.
Evans danced around his defender with some nifty footwork inside the 18-yard box firing a shot into the bottom right of the goal.
The match started to open up later in the second half when Indiana began to press their attack looking to cut into their 2-0 deficit.
The high stakes brought an element of tension to the game between the two sides after playing in the tournament final for the second year in a row.
“I can’t deny there was an extra bit of motivation to try and turn it around against Indiana,” Cook said “We want to compete against the best and Indiana is firmly in that category.”
With 5:10 to play, redshirt senior midfielder Pierre Reedy sealed the deal for the Nittany Lions scoring off a corner kick.
“I was just telling the guys it’s just meant to be,” said Reedy “We were due and we finally got our opportunity (and) we took advantage of it and the guys balled out.”
When the clock hit zero, Penn State fans stormed the field to celebrate with their team. Tournament team and player awards were then announced and the Big Ten men’s soccer tournament trophy was presented.
With the win, Penn State has clinched a spot in this year’s NCAA tournament and will find out where they fall in the bracket on Monday.
When asked how long the celebrations can last Reedy said “Tonight for sure, and then we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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