Men's Soccer Blanks Saint Francis, 2-0, in Exhibition Finale
Aug. 25, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team put the finishing touches on an undefeated preseason Saturday night at Jeffrey Field, downing Saint Francis (Pa.), 2-0. After knocking off Georgetown, 1-0, on Tuesday evening in a driving rainstorm and unseasonably chilly conditions, the Nittany Lions overcame heat and humidity to collect a second consecutive exhibition victory and gain momentum heading into the regular season.
After a scoreless first half, Penn State came out of the break strong and claimed the lead in the game's 52nd minute. Senior defender Stephen Reihner (Washington, Pa.) started the play by stealing the ball in the Red Flash zone. Pushing ahead, Reihner found sophomore midfielder Frank Costigliola (Dix Hills, N.Y.) with a well-placed pass on the left wing. After faking right past a Saint Francis defender, Costigliola fired a shot that snuck under the Red Flash goalkeeper Darius Motazed and into the lower right corner of the net.
The Nittany Lions extended their advantage just over six minutes later when Costigliola teamed with senior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) on a scoring play. Costigliola took the ball to the back line before turning and looping a crossing pass into the box. Yeisley outjumped the defense and headed the ball into the right upper corner of the net past a frozen Saint Francis goalkeeper.
Penn State dominated play in the first half, recording 10 shots while holding Saint Francis to zero. The Lion attack had numerous scoring opportunities but could not finish while the defense overpowered the Red Flash. For the game, Penn State outshot Saint Francis 19-5, including a game-high five by Yeisley.
Senior goalkeeper Conrad Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) saw his first action of the season, playing the game's first 45 minutes. Freshman Warren Gross (Greenfield Center, N.Y.) relieved Taylor at the break, logging 24 minutes, before being replaced by redshirt freshman Liam Fitzwater (Schuylkill Haven, N.Y.) for the remainder of the contest. Gross and Fitzwater each registered one save.
Penn State begins 2007 regular season play on Fri., Aug. 31 at the Ohio State Classic. The Nittany Lions kick off the year by taking on Syracuse in an opening round tournament game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State will wrap-up play at the Ohio State Classic on Sun., Sept. 2 when it meets No. 13 West Virginia in a noon contest. The Lions open at home the following weekend, hosting Colonial Athletic Association opponents William & Mary (Sept. 7, 5:30 p.m.) and Old Dominion (Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m.) as part of the Penn State Classic.