Penn State Records Fourth Straight Shutout Over Detroit Mercy
UNIVERSITY PARK- Penn State utterly dominated Detroit Mercy in a 2-0 Nittany Lions home victory at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions were clicking in all aspects of the game Wednesday night, as they recorded their fourth straight shutout.
Penn State got on the scoreboard first and never looked back as defender Brandon Hackenberg scored in the 10th minute off an assist by midfielder Aaron Malloy. It was great awareness by Hackenberg, the younger brother of former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who scored his first career goal off of a missed first try from a teammate.
“You always dream about scoring your first career goal, and it’s awesome to finally get on the scoresheet,” Hackenberg said.
Mac Curran scored the second of the Nittany Lions’ goals, breaking through in the 35th minute off of a deflection to extend the Nittany Lions lead 2-0. Midfielder Callum Pritchatt was credited with the assist, and the goal was Curran’s third of the season.
“I think our team has worked really hard to put runners in the box, and we’ve worked on that the past couple weeks, that stuff just happens to fall to you, and that’s a team goal,” Curran said.
Penn State’s offensive attack dwarfed that of Detroit Mercy, outshooting the Titans in total by 20-3. Detroit Mercy failed to register a single shot on goal, leaving Nittany Lions goalkeeper Arie Ammann with a relatively stress-free match.
On the other side, the starting goalkeeper was replaced after conceding the first goal. Devin Mendez took over and put forth a valiant effort to keep the Titans in the match, only giving up one goal on 10 saves.
Head coach Jeff Cook was pleased with the defensive performance of late and described the strategy for the remainder of the season.
“It starts with the analysis of the opposition, where the threats are, and putting the guys in situations to defend our goal. They’ve been defending as a group, and one of the concepts that we’ve been stressing is that its a team effort between all the positions, and that kind of collective defending is what creates those moments where you become difficult to score on,” Cook said.
Despite the offensive barrage, Hackenberg felt Penn State could have done even more. “We could have had a lot more than two goals tonight, we won 2-0, which looks good, but if we won 5-0, it would have looked even better, so we can always work on finishing,” Hackenberg said.
Penn State has their eyes on making noise in the Big Ten tournament, and feel confident coming off of a series of big wins.
“Anytime you’re on a streak, everyone’s feeling good, everyone has a little bit of mojo, a little swagger, so everyone is riding off that, but we are always improving and getting better so we don’t find ourselves in sticky situations and can continue to move towards a Big Ten Championship."
Penn State finishes out its regular season with a non-conference road matchup with James Madison, and conclude conference play with a trip to College Park to take on Maryland and a final home match against Rutgers.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.