Unfinished business: Penn State in search of second win against George Mason

Story posted September 4, 2022 in Sports by Juan Mendez

After earning its first win of the season at home, Penn State heads to Fairfax, Virginia, to face a familiar foe in George Mason. 

Two games headlined by evident underperformance were potent enough to motivate the Nittany Lions in forging a victory against No. 18 West Virginia on Friday.

The blue and white dealt with a deficit in shots attempted, but a sense of equilibrium imploded after junior forward Peter Mangione scored his first two goals of the season.

Similarly, senior forward Liam Butts hammered a ball in the back of the net to break a personal 17-game goal scoring drought. 

The win allows the squad to gather a similar vitality and momentum to last year’s team that won the Big Ten Tournament in a historic campaign.

On the opposition, George Mason pressed the refresh button by announcing Rich Costanzo as head coach. 

Costanzo was a hot name on the market after aiding Pittsburgh to a successful season last year. The former Panthers assistant coach became the 11th coach in George Mason history.

The Patriots are winless in two matches, but will have a season-opener setting for this upcoming bout. 

This first loss was delivered by an aggressive Old Dominion side, and while the minimally increased possessive play against American allowed for a leveling in statistics, it was not enough to prevent the opposition from scoring two goals in the final 20 minutes. 

Scoring four goals across 16 starts, junior midfielder Louis Lehr proved to me the most aggressive player for George Mason last season. He led the team in goals and with 27 shots, a testament to the Patriots’ offensive struggles.

Jakob Rylander was one of the team leaders last fall, a presence the Patriots sorely miss after his graduation.
His loss, among others, are partly to blame for the rough beginnings of this transitional era in George Mason soccer. 

The Nittany Lions and Patriots faced off last season at Jeffrey Field. They battled to a 1-1 draw, with one goal each for Butts and Lehr, who seek to strike again in a new setting.

The game was delayed and finally terminated with 10 minutes left of play, leaving unfinished business on both sides.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Monday. 

Juan Mendez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, please email jsm6062@psu.edu.

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Juan Mendez

Second-year / Journalism

Juan S. Mendez is a second-year student from Sogamoso, Colombia majoring in journalism at Penn State University. He is a frequent CommRadio contributor through play-by-play and production for Penn State sports, primarily soccer. As a writer and podcast member, he also contributes in covering the NFL, NBA, international soccer, college sports, and occasional music reviews. Bilingual, and with a substantially dispersed knowledge, Juan intends to work covering multiple sports internationally in English and Spanish at a professional level.
To contact Juan, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).