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August 25, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 setback to two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association regular season champion Hofstra at Jeffrey Field Friday, Aug. 25.
The Nittany Lions (0-1) controlled the ball for the majority of the match, taking 15 shots compared to the Pride’s (1-0) nine shots as Hofstra’s keeper Alex Ashton made six saves on the night to earn the narrow 1-0 victory over Penn State.
“You never want to start a season off like this on your home field,” said associate head coach Chad Duernberger. “We created a lot of chances and I think the goalkeeper for them did an excellent job. This was a tough one for us but we just have to keep our heads up and move onto California for the next one. We have a lot of video on this game and we plan to use that to see what we can correct going out west for the next match.”
Five Nittany Lions made their Penn State debuts against Hofstra as Ethan Beckford (Manchester, England), Aaron Molloy (Dublin, Ireland), Kyle Perno (Hyde Park, N.Y.) and Callum Pritchatt (Kinghurst Birmingham) made their first starts donning the Blue and White and Ryan Holland (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) came in as a sub in the second half.
The Pride scored the lone goal in the first half when Danny Elliott dribbled the ball into the six yard box on the left side of the field and ripped a shot into the right hand corner of the goal seven minutes into the match.
The Blue and White saw its first opportunity to score when Beckford was tripped 20-yards out and the team was awarded a free kick. Molloy took a shot into the right corner of the net but it was knocked away by Ashton, allowing Hofstra to maintain its 1-0 lead.
Penn State rattled off three more shots in the half but was unable to find the back of the net, heading into the locker room trailing 1-0 after 45 complete minutes of play at Jeffrey Field.
The Nittany Lion had three-straight corner kicks in the 67th minute of the match that saw two shots reach the net but Aston continued to hold strong for the Pride making two big saves to keep the 1-0 lead.
Penn State continued to pepper the net when a free kick found the head of Ryan Gallagher (Pine Bush, N.Y.) five yards out but Ashton picked up his fourth save of the game for the Pride. The Blue and White saw one final chance when Christian Sload (Reading, Pa.) found himself with a one-on-one against the keeper but Ashton came up with his fifth save of the night to put the game away.
The Nittany Lions hit the road for the first time in the 2017 campaign when they travel out west for two contests to kick off the month of September. The Blue and White will take on UC Irvine Friday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET before going up against Loyola Marymount Sunday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.