By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions (1-3-2, 0-2-0 B1G) fell to the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins (6-0-1, 2-0-1 B1G), 2-0 in a hard fought defensive battle Sunday night. The Nittany Lions held one of the top ranked teams to a single goal through 88 minutes on the pitch.
"It was a busy night," said goalkeeper Evan Finney. "I really think our defense played really well...we played 89 of the 90 minutes. They got one back at the end but it was you know oh well. I think our defense played extremely well tonight and I think we will use that momentum to go into Wednesday's game against Detroit Mercy."
While the magic of Jeffrey Field and Mack Brady Day were not enough against the conference rival, the Blue and White proved resilient from the top of their attack to the depths of their own box.
"I think our shape overall was very good," said Finney. "I thought countering out we looked pretty dangerous, set pieces we looked way better than them every single time, couple of balls cleared off of the line on corner kicks, free kicks."
Finney led the charge for the Blue and White and Mack Brady as he had three dominant saves on the day.
"We had a remarkable tradition that was unfortunate it that it had to be started but we started it," said head coach Bob Warming. "Every goalkeeper who comes through here this game means so much to them," said head coach Bob Warming. "Evan made some fantastic saves tonight, fantastic saves."
Although the end result favored Maryland, Finney tested the offense that averages 2.17 goals per game. His most momentous save came during the 35th minute of the contest when Maryland's offense delivered a through ball that forced Finney to make a play off of his line and keep the board scoreless.
"I was just trying to stay on my toes and keep out as many as I could," said Finney.
The goalkeeper reflected on the importance of Sunday night's match and dedicated his play to the eight-year-old boy who dedicated his life to soccer.
"It is just a different type of game you know playing for someone else who is not with us anymore," said Finney. "You know it kind of means a lot if Mack were my age today he would love to be standing in my position. I am not only fortunate to play soccer but be at Penn State as well."
With Mack in their thoughts and Detroit Mercy in the foreground, the Blue and White take every loss, win, and tie as a learning opportunity and building block for the rest of the season and future.
"One thing that is always important which is belief you know, but our goal is to keep getting better that's it," said Warming. "We're going to keep getting better. I thought there were moments tonight where even a man down I'm thinking we are going to tie the game down. I think if guys have some belief we will move forward."
As frustrations built between the two conference squads, the man down situation came during the 72nd minute when forward Ethan Beckford secured a red card just as the Terrapins were crossing over the threshold of midfield. Despite playing with only 10 men, the Blue and White rallied to maintain their composure throughout the entirety of Sunday night's showdown.
The Penn State Nittany Lions hope to redeem themselves and continue to build upon their developing foundation this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against the Detroit Mercy Titans under the lights of Jeffrey Field.
"I think we need to come out with a lot more passion, a lot more energy," said Finney. "Training this week we are going to have to be a little bit more determined...and hopefully we'll come out and get a win on Wednesday for everyone."
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