Men's Soccer Opens 2010 Season with 5-0 Rout of Buffalo
Sept. 3, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Penn State men's soccer team (1-0-0) made the head-coaching debut of Bob Warming a memorable and highly successful one, as the Nittany Lions cruised past Buffalo (0-1-0), 5-0, in their 2010 season opener at the Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio on Friday evening.
"A lot of times, you have to battle, particularly when you are on the road and when you have a lot of nerves early in the season and that was the case in the first half tonight," said Warming, who secured his 384th career victory with the result against Buffalo. "But once we got into a rhythm, it was really fun to watch. I am really proud of the guys."
The 2009 prolific scoring tandem of Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) and Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) picked up where it left off, as Hertzog netted two goals and Braga contributed three assists. Senior midfielder Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.), sophomore forward Rafael Faria (Miami, Fla.), and sophomore midfielder John Gallagher (Pine Bush, N.Y.) also scored goals.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) earned his 11th career shutout, highlighting a Penn State defense that limited the Bulls to just two shots for the game, including none in the second half. Junior Matt Smallwood (Cochranville, Pa.), making his first career start on the back line, was also key, deflecting away what looked to be a sure goal in the first half with a sliding stop of a Buffalo shot.
Penn State got on the scoreboard early, claiming a 1-0 advantage in the fourth minute of the game. Matheus Braga started the play by coming inside from the left wing and slipping a perfect pass to Corey Hertzog, who was making a run towards goal. The pass hit Hertzog in stride behind the defense and he easily finished, finding net on his and the team's first shot of the 2010 season.
After playing well and controlling play for the first 25 minutes, the Nittany Lions lost their rhythm and had to battle Buffalo to a scoreless draw in the final 20 minutes of the opening half.
Penn State, however, quickly shook off its late first-half bout with sluggishness, storming from the gates in the second half. The Lions jumped out to a 2-0 early in the 52nd minute off another scoring play initiated by Braga. From 28 yards out, the Brazilian native fed a pass to Drew Cost. Faking a shot and then side-stepping a defender, Cost unloaded a hard shot from 23 yards away that deflected off a Buffalo defender and into net.
Just over three minutes later the rout was officially on when Corey Hertzog netted his second goal of the game to put Penn State up 3-0. Juniors Mackenzie Arment (Manheim, Pa.) and Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.) combined on passes to get the ball to Hertzog, who once again had gotten behind the UB defense.
The Lions upped their lead to four in the 74th minute. Off a pass from Drew Cost, Matheus Braga smacked a shot that was saved but not controlled by the Buffalo goalkeeper. Breaking towards the goal, Rafael Faria came in with his cleats chest-high and knocked the ball into net with the bottom of his foot.
Penn State put the finishing touches on the dominating performance in the final minute off the game on what Warming called "the goal of the game." John Gallagher intercepted a pass near midfield and, finding himself unmarked, unleashed a rocket towards goal from 35 yards out that sped past the UB goalkeeper into the upper left 90.
Penn State will finish out play at the 2010 Wolstein Classic on Sunday when it faces the College of Charleston at noon.
NOTES: Penn State won its season opener by a score of 5-0 for the second straight year after downing Saint Francis (Pa.) at home by the same margin in 2009...Penn State's five goals are the most it has scored in a game away from home since defeating Northwestern, 6-2, in Evanston on Oct. 6, 2000...Freshman forward Jordan Tyler (Rochester, Mich.), in his first collegiate start, led the Nittany Lions with five shots...Penn State had a decisive 19-2 advantage over Buffalo in shots...John Gallagher's late second half goal was the first of his Nittany Lion career and came on just his third career shot...Including the two exhibition contests, Mackenzie Arment has an assist in three consecutive games...Corey Hertzog's multiple-goal effort was the fourth of his career...Hertzog's game winner was his eighth as a Nittany Lion...Matheus Braga's three assists were a single-game career high...Sophomore Daniel Burnham (Boise, Idaho) and freshmen Ehjay Henry (Harris Village, Saint Kitts) and Grant Warming (Omaha, Neb.) made their Penn State debuts versus Buffalo.