Penn State Men’s Soccer Claims Big Ten Crown With OT Win vs. Northwestern
“It was like a dream come true,” Jordan Tyler would say afterwards.
The junior forward that missed all of last season with a knee injury scored a pair of goals and the Penn State men’s soccer team (10-3-1, 5-0-0 B1G) secured their second-ever Big Ten outright title after beating Northwestern (8-4-1, 1-2-1 B1G) 2-1, in double overtime Sunday afternoon.
Northwestern took a 1-0 lead just under 15 minutes into the second half when the conference points leader, Joey Calistri, added his 11th goal of the year.
Needing an equalizing goal to avoid their first conference loss, Penn State was stymied offensively by the Wildcats conservative, collapsing defense.
With two minutes to play, midfielder Drew Klingenberg made a run down the left sideline. He then sent a left-footed cross towards the box. On the other end was a receiving Tyler, who put the ball in the back of the net and sent the match to overtime.
The afternoon wasn’t over for Tyler, however. Four minutes into the second overtime period, Penn State’s Connor Maloney intercepted a pass at midfield and had Tyler step-for-step towards the center of the field.
“I knew that if Connor could beat his guy, I would be able to get open for a nice pass,” said Tyler.
Maloney found his teammate all alone, and Tyler delivered his second goal of the game, as the Nittany Lions rushed towards the loyal student supporters.
“It was actually a good thing we were on the same page there,” Tyler said. “Connor beat his guy, I stopped, and then my guy kept going. He got it to me and I scored it.”
The emotional win came as a well-deserved incentive for the four Nittany Lion seniors honored in a ceremony after the match. And for Tyler, whose last game at Jeffrey Field would have been today were it not for last year’s knee surgery, he was quick to acknowledge the importance of the moment.
“I’m fortunate enough to get another year in college, it’s like a dream come true to win the Big Ten for those guys on their last game here.”
Penn State now bounces back to take on the Ivy League-leading Penn Quakers, Tuesday. Head coach Bob Warming understands the total drainage this kind of win takes on his team.
“That was an exhausting game.” Warming said. “It was hard-played, and we used all our energy just to stay warm.”
Matthew Lawrence is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and economics. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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