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Nittany Lions Split Weekend with Duquesne and Georgetown

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By Mike Esse, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind a crowd of 4,000 fans on Friday night at Jeffery Field, the men's soccer team turned in a 1-0 victory over Duquesne to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2001. They then hit the road for a tough test at Georgetown where the inability to score late resulted in their first lost of the season with a final score of 2-1.

Friday night however, the Nittany Lions struggled a bit in the first half against Duquesne as the Dukes were able to spread out the Penn State offense, but head coach Bob Warming and his team were able to adjust in the second half.

"The first half was really ugly and not fun to watch," said Warming. "Once the defense got set and a little more spread out and kept the ball a little better and the second half was a lot of fun. We made the right adjustments at half time and played a little bit better."

Warming called it a chain reaction that produced a sloppy half of soccer, but once the center backs were able to spread out, the defense was able to play higher up on the field which resulted in more opportunities in the second half. However, forward John Gallagher said there was another important element at half time that resulted in the victory.

"We were feeling like it was the start of the game in the second half and we were feeling fresh and able to keep the ball and make them run by having them chase the ball the whole time," said Gallagher.

Gallagher and the rest of the Penn State offense's ability to spread the ball out in the second half turned into a huge corner kick opportunity halfway into the second half.

"I just lined up the ball and I have a set place where I look to put it right on top of the six yard box and Minh Vu was able to beat his guy to the ball and he got a great header," said Gallagher.

Vu had been around the ball constantly in the first two games and had another early opportunity in the first half on Friday, but was able to position himself well enough to finally get in the scoring column.

"I was in the post and there was a bigger guy in front of me so I just came all the way around and beat my guy to the ball," said Vu. "It feels good to score my third game in. I should have had a couple in the first two games but it feels good to put my first one in and now I have get a couple more now."

Prior to the Georgetown game Warming knew that his team would be confident after their 3-0 start and stressed the importance of being confident against a very good Georgetown team.

Georgetown dominated the ball on Sunday with 20 shots as opposed to the eight from Penn State and was able to force Penn State into a bad position as a Jimmy Nealis shot hit off of the post and hit a Nittany Lion defender and rolled into the net.

Only seven minutes into the second half Penn State was able to respond after Akil Howard set up Marvin Ledgister for a goal off of a crossing pass from Howard.

Georgetown then responded nearly two minutes later after another Georgetown shot hit off of the post giving the Hoyas the 2-1 lead. They never gave it back after stout defense and goaltending denied Hasani Sinclair and Julian Cardona from two golden opportunities within the last five minutes handing Penn State their first loss of the season.

Penn State returns home on Thursday as it welcomes West Virginia to Jeffrey Field at 7 p.m.

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