Second-Half Surge Sends No. 15 Lions Past St. John's, 3-0
Aug. 31, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 15 Penn State men's soccer team scored three second-half goals, two of which came from sophomore Connor Maloney (Harrisburg, Pa.) in a 3-0 win over St. John's Sunday night at Jeffrey Field in front of 2,721 noisy fans.
"Connor was great, not just his two goals, but his run and dummy, unselfish run gave Mikey his goal," Head coach Bob Warming said. "So, I think it's great. I think the maturity in that whole class in 12 months has been remarkable. Mark Wadid, Mason Klerks, Connor, all those guys, their maturity level has just jumped through the roof in one year. I'm really proud of all of them, everybody in that class."
Penn State's (2-0-0) passing came alive in the second half as three goals were all set up with consecutive passes, leading to five assists. Maloney opened the scoring in the 48th off a Mark Wadid (Mississauga, Ontario) rebound. Wadid raced past his defender and was stopped by Red Storm goalie Jordan Stagmiller (four saves) as Maloney cleaned up the loose ball.
He then dummied a cross from Drew Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.) to allow Mikey Minutillo's (San Jose, Calif.) first goal since Sept. 16, 2012, in the 72nd minute. Kyle MacDonald's (Yardley, Pa.) pass from his central midfield position to Klingenberg freed up the junior lefty for the in-swinging cross to Minutillo, who was stationed six yards from the net.
Maloney finished off St. John's (0-2-0), connecting on the end of a Brian James (Sunrise, Fla.) cross along the ground with 23 seconds remaining for the final score line. For James, it was his first point as a Nittany Lion and Minutillo earned an assist sending a ball wide to James for his one-touch cross.
The Nittany Lions out-shot St. John's 10-2 in the second half, after both teams failed to record a shot on frame in the opening 45 minutes. PSU dictated the pace of play and made the Red Storm chase the game.
Andrew Wolverton (Atlanta, Ga.) picked up his 25th career shutout in a game where he wasn't required to make a save. PSU held the Red Storm to just five shots all game as Wolverton moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time Penn State shutouts list. He is four clean sheets away from setting the record.
Wolverton credited the defensive crew of Mason Klerks (Corona, Calif.), Mike Robinson (Lansdale, Pa.), Eli Dennis (Easton, Md.) and Owen Griffith (Lewisburg, Pa.) for walling up the attack of St. John's.
-- The Nittany Lions evened the all-time series with St. John's at 3-3-1, winning their first game against the Red Storm since a 2-1 triple-overtime thriller on Nov. 28, 1999 in the NCAA Tournament.
-- Bob Warming won his 430th career game on Sunday.
-- Penn State imrpved to 308-77-34 all-time at Jeffrey Field for a winning percentage of .776. Penn State is 17-3-3 at Jeffrey Field since 2012.
-- The Nittany Lions welcomed nearly 6,000 fans to Jeffrey Field this weekend: 5,944 for an average of 2,972 over two games. PSU had 3,223 fans on Friday night for its win over Oakland.
-- Penn State has out-shot its opponents 25-4 in the second half in two games. Consequently, PSU has scored all four of its goals this season in the same time frame.