Penn State Falls to No. 8 Indiana
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It was a tough loss for Penn State as they go down to the eighth-ranked Indiana Hoosiers and they now stand at 5-2-2 overall, 2-1-1 in conference play this season.
It was a defensive slug-fest early on in the game as both teams struggled to get into any rhythm. However, about 10 minutes into the first half Indiana found some good passing and Joris Ahlini had a great chance to score but Penn State goalkeeper Josh Levine had a diving save.
There was a big change in momentum with 32 minutes left in the first half as Brandon Hackenberg for the Nittany Lions had a sloppy attempt to stop a shot from Ahlini and slide tackled him down, receiving a red card. The penalty kick was luckily blocked by Levine, but it would be a long way to go down to just 10 men.
The penalty would prove to be costly as shortly later Indiana would add two goals in a hurry. First, the Hoosiers Simon Weaver found Joris for a header that scored, giving Indiana a 1-0 lead. Then shortly after, Aiden Morris found A.J. Palazzolo for a header to make it 2-0 with 28 minutes remaining in the first half.
As the rain started to pour at Jeffrey Field, Indiana started to pour on the Nittany Lions. With 21 minutes left in the first half, midfielder Spencer Glass snipped one in from the corner to give the Hoosiers a 3-0 lead.
Penn State had a chance to score after a penalty on the Hoosiers. The Nittany Lions had a free quick that couldn’t be controlled and they ended up losing possession. At halftime, the score was 3-0 Indiana and the Nittany Lions would go into the locker room with one shot attempted.
Head Coach Jeff Cook said that he told his team at halftime to keep on playing hard and that he believed they could go toe-to-toe with an elite team like Indiana. This reborn energy was clear to see coming out of the locker room.
To start the second half, it was tough for the Nittany Lions who could not get anything going to start the second half. However, with 35 minutes remaining in the game, the Nittany Lions finally got on the board when Liam Butts found Aaron Molloy with the long goal to cut the deficit to just two.
Then with 32 minutes Indiana’s Weaver got a yellow card, which seemed to inject some life into the Nittany Lions and the home crowd. After Malloy got a yellow card, Indiana nearly made an excellent goal on a header but Levine made a ridiculous save as he full-on dove and deflected the ball in midair. Later with about 24 minutes remaining in the half, Kyle May just barely missed a shot went wide to the left. It was clear the Nittany Lions were playing with an edge coming into the second half.
“We had a good halftime team talk,” Molloy said. “It got us going, it got us playing.”
The momentum would die slowly for the Nittany Lions. After some missed opportunities and a couple of yellow cards later, the Nittany Lions would fall. Coach Cook said after the game that he was proud of his team and hard they fought against a great Indiana team.
The Nittany Lions next opponent will be home against Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.
Mitch Broder is a sophomore majoring in journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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