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|Jeffrey Field | University Park, Pa. | 3,223|
Aug. 29, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 15 Penn State men's soccer team emphatically stamped its arrival on the 2014 season with a 1-0 win over a feisty Oakland Golden Grizzlies squad Friday night at Jeffrey Field. Connor Maloney (Harrisburg, Pa.) netted his third career goal in the second half in front of 3,223 fans.
I thought Drew Klingenberg and Connor Maloney had incredible nights," said head coach Bob Warming. "(Oakland) had two very good, talented front-runners who were not only able to get on the end of balls, but were able to hold the ball so the rest of their team could come forward. I'm glad we were able to stop their counterattacks with the presence of Owen Griffith."
A raucous crowd fueled by students in Jeffrey Field's East stands turned into celebration as Maloney deftly touched a through ball past Oakland goalkeeper Elliot Tarney in the 52nd minute.
Maloney's goal came by way of a Mark Wadid (Mississauga, Ontario) pass after collecting a failed Oakland header out near midfield. Maloney rushed past his tracking defender and was able to beat Tarney as the goalkeeper went for the sliding save. The helper was Wadid's first career assist.
The goal came after some applied pressure by Penn State (1-0-0), who was out-shot 7-5 in the opening 45 minutes. The Nittany Lions took it to Oakland (0-1-0) by out-shooting the Golden Grizzlies 15-2 in the second stanza. PSU fired seven shots on frame as well.
Following Maloney's marker, the Nittany Lions continued to buzz, looking to double the lead. Two minutes later, Owen Griffith (Lewisburg, Pa.) had a header saved off the line by an Oakland defender before Drew Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.) ripped a shot from distance that required a Tarney stop (eight saves) in the 62nd minute.
PSU continued to press and Mikey Minutillo (San Jose, Calif.) had a header saved in the 80th minute before a long-range effort ding off the crossbar in the 84th. Minutillo finished the game with six shots, three on target, in his first action for the Lions since 2012.
Penn State held a decisive 20-9 edge in shots including a 9-3 margin in shots on goal. Goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Atlanta, Ga.) had all his work for him in the first half with three saves for his 24th career shutout. The standout senior is now five shutouts away from the PSU all-time record.
Several Nittany Lions made their debuts in the Blue and White including starters Brian James (Sunrise, Fla.) and Riley Grant (Copley, Ohio). Brandon Savino (Glen Ridge, N.J.) and Brett Gravatt (Dunn Loring, Va.) came on in reserve roles for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions return to action on Sunday at Jeffrey Field as they host St. John's for a 7 p.m. contest. The Red Storm dropped a 1-0 decision at West Virginia on Friday night. PSU looks to fight back from last year's 1-0 loss at St. John's.
The first 200 fans will get #PennStateFutbol t-shirts. Admission and parking are free to all regular-season Penn State soccer games.