By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer hosted Canada Night as its promotion Tuesday, and it was only fitting that Canadian Dayonn Harris would net the game-winning goal to elevate Penn State past Pittsburgh, 1-0.
Harris, an Ontario, Canada native, scored the match's only goal in the 40th minute when freshman Frankie de la Camara found him with a through ball as he got behind the backline in order to break free. Harris opted to chip the ball over Pittsburgh's aggressively charging goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt from outside the box. He utilized his speed to chase after his lofted shot all the way to the goal line where he easily kicked the ball into the open net for his third goal of the season.
"Frankie coming in was pretty big for us," said Harris. He assisted that goal obviously. I saw the goalie coming out so I just chipped it up to myself and the goal was wide open for me. This one goes out for Canada."
The other Canadians celebrated on the night were Aymar Sigue and Mitchel Bringolf. Each contributed to the win. Forward Sigue had scoring chances and defender Bringolf helped limit Pitt to only one shot on goalkeeper Evan Finney.
When Penn State last took the field, the Nittany Lions matched shots with Indiana, a team known to get a lot of shots off. The Nittany Lions picked up right where they left off with another wealthy display of shots.
Before and after Harris's goal, Penn State (5-6-1) kept constant pressure in their offensive end. The Nittany Lions continued to get scoring chances all game but just couldn't fully capitalize on them. Penn State took 22 shots and put 13 of them on net. Outcalt made 12 saves, many of them near goals, in order to keep Pittsburgh (2-9-2) within reach.
Senior team captain Connor Maloney took a team-high eight shots with five of them on goal. Maloney weaved and dodged around the defense but couldn't find the back of the net. On a penalty kick awarded to Penn State after a Pittsburgh red card from Stephane Pierre, Maloney blasted it to the upper-right corner but Outcalt was there to make a leaping save.
"He made a great save on my PK, kudos to him for that," said Maloney. "The goalie today was outstanding with a lot of good saves but we have to finish those."
It was one of those matches in soccer when a team keeps offensive momentum all game but just can't get more by the goalkeeper. Head coach Bob Warming applauded the team's resiliency and aggressive nature of play after two tough Big Ten road matches.
"I thought they were really sharp tonight," said Warming. "Fantastic performance. Our guys passed the ball really well tonight. Our aggressiveness was in getting behind them time after time after time."
"The common score line in college soccer is 1-0 so that's what we did today and the win so we'll carry that over to Michigan State," said Maloney.
The Nittany Lions are back in action against Michigan State at Jeffrey Field Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
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