Oregon State Shuts Out Penn State
Penn State battled hard but ultimately fell to the Oregon State Beavers in a close match on a nearly 90-degree Labor Day at Jeffrey Field.
Oregon State midfielder Carlos Moliner scored first on a line drive goal to take a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Moliner took the shot for 30 yards out and snuck the ball through traffic and past Penn State goalkeeper Josh Levine, who was not able to track down the ball until it was already in the back of the net.
Oregon State had four corner kicks early in the first half, keeping the pressure on the Penn State defense, and eventually one corner kick led to a prime opportunity for the Beavers, as Moliner was able to collect the ball off a rebound off of the Nittany Lions defense and launch the ball in space. Penn State struggled at times to maintain possession of the ball as they failed to earn a single corner kick in the first half.
The Lions came directly out of a water break following the Moliner goal and attempted to control the time of possession battle, playing more aggressively on offense, initiating quicker counter attacks off of OSU possessions. Late in the first half, the Nittany Lions had a scoring chance thwarted by the Beaver back line, as Brennan Ireland’s shot from the top of the penalty box was blocked, keeping the score 1-0 in the 38th minute. Despite the increased intensity of Penn State’s offensive attack to close the first half, the Lions were unable to record a Shot on Goal in the first 45 minutes of play, which stood as evidence of Oregon State’s defensive prowess in the attacking zone.
Another missed opportunity for Penn State came in the 53rd minute as Mitchel Bringolf missed a header wide of the Oregon State net. The Nittany Lions would continue to have several good chances throughout the second half, taking up temporary residence in the Beaver’s attack zone.
Penn State was able to keep its hopes to win the match alive when Oregon State’s Eric Diaz struck a shot wide of Josh Levine in the 68th minute. The Beavers mounted their own attack in the second half as they looked to close out the match with the one-goal lead. Forward Gloire Amanda struck a header shot in the 77th minute that sailed only a few feet wide right of the Nittany Lions goal.
Penn State missed out on a monumental opportunity to tie the match up in the 86th minute as the Nittany Lions had two corner kicks; the first resulting in a blocked shot by Mason Deeds, the second kick rolled past the Lions’ attackers with an open net on the right side.
Lions’ goalkeeper Josh Levine played hard to the final minute. OSU’s Amanda found himself behind Levine with the ball and just green grass in front of him. However, Amanda overran the ball by a few steps, allowing Levine a chance to track him down and make a save on a shot by Joel Walker.
When asked about Levine’s effort and leadership to make the play despite time winding down on the Nittany Lions, Lions head coach Jeff Cook said, “We took a gamble with intent there, we figured we should try and equalize, and if we lose 2-0, we still lose. That example shows you our team spirit...it shows you the commitment, intensity, and belief that we have and the effort we’re gonna need going forward.”
Penn State hits the pitch next on Friday, September 7th as they travel to Villanova to battle the Wildcats.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.