Men’s Soccer: Penn State Falls To No. 25 Maryland
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State midfielder Conner Maloney ran to the erupting student section to join the celebration of his 29th minute goal that put his team up 2-0. That student section was silenced seconds before halftime as Maryland midfielder George Campbell headed the equalizer, his first of a impending hat trick that propelled the No. 25 Terrapins to a 4-3 victory Friday over the Nittany Lions at Jeffrey Field.
Senior midfielder Drew Klingenberg opened the scoring in the 18th minute. After making several nice runs up the left sideline, Klingenberg was able to capitalize when Riley Grant switched the play to him and he made his way to the center of the pitch before firing from the top of the box and finding the net on the top far post.
The dynamic duo of brothers Austin and Conner Maloney sent Penn State (5-4-2, 2-2-1 Big Ten) up 2-0 as the younger brother, Austin, crossed the ball into the box and it found Conner, who sent the ball pass Maryland goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier.
“As you can see, we dominated to be honest,” Conner said. “We have some slight adjustments to make for next game … and to be honest, they should be scared."
Connor later headed a goal in the 64 minute off a free kick cross from Brian James, giving Maloney five goals on the season.
Junior midfielder Mason Klerks jogged back up the pitch in frustration in the 86th minute, after sending a potential equalizing header far right off the goal.
Early in the match, Penn State’s defense did a solid job slowing down the Maryland attack, which came into the contest leading the conference in shots per game at over 18.
Through 30 minutes, Maryland (6-3-3, 2-1-2 Big Ten) only registered one shot, compared to Penn State’s seven. But the tide quickly shifted on a Maryland counterattack led by star freshman Sebastian Elney.
Elney pushed the ball up the field in a hurry, creating a chance for Tsubasa Endoh, whom finished the goal on the 2-on-1 advantage against defender Dani Marks.
With 10 seconds left on the clock, Maryland earned a corner kick. Jorge Calix quickly set up and crossed the ball in and Campbell connected on a header to send the game into halftime even.
After relinquishing the lead, the Nittany Lions played uninspired game for moments in the second half. They allowed the Terrapins to find some rhythm, getting 10 shots themselves in the half.
Despite allowing four goals, Penn State goalkeeper Matt Bersano made some timely saves to keep Penn State within striking distance, including a one-on-one stop on an attacking Elney.
“This is the epitome of how we want to play every game,” Klingenberg said. “We lost but the game was fantastic. We could have had 10 goals but the lesson is to keep our heads up going into West Virginia and make a statement."
Penn State will return to the road next week for two matches starting Tuesday at West Virginia then Sunday at Michigan State.
Marley Paul is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism major. To contact him email, email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @MPaulPSU
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