Men's Soccer Stays Hot at Home with 5-1 Rout of Hofstra
Sept. 11, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Unseasonably chilly temperatures and wet playing conditions were not enough to cool the Penn State men's soccer team's red hot offense, as the Nittany Lions rolled over Hofstra (1-2-0), 5-1, on Friday evening at Jeffrey Field in opening day action of the 2009 Penn State Classic.
The five-goal output by Penn State (3-1-0) is its second consecutive at home, after the Lions began the season with a 5-0 victory over Saint Francis on Sept. 1. The Nittany Lions' back-to-back home game goal total of 10 is the most since 1995 when it defeated Northwestern (Oct. 6) and Army (Oct. 13) by identical 6-1 scores at Jeffrey Field.
Sophomore forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) and junior midfielder Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeio, Brazil) spearheaded the Penn State attack, netting two goals each. For Hertzog, the multiple goal performance was the second of his young career after he tallied two in a 3-2 win over Ohio State last season. Braga, who missed the Gonzaga game with an injury, came back with a vengeance, scoring his second and third goals of the season. Junior midfielder Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.) also got into the scoring act, notching his second goal of the year.
Reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) extended his consecutive game with a point streak to four when he earned an assist on Corey Hertzog's second goal. The three-headed offensive monster of Yeisley, Hertzog, and Braga leads the Nittany Lions in points with eight each.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) went the distance in net for the fourth consecutive game, recording three critical saves. The back line in front of Gross was strong, holding Hofstra without a shot for the first 33 minutes of the opening half and to just four shots on goal for the game.
The Penn State attack didn't waste much time asserting itself when its constant pressure paid off in the game's 16th minute. Drew Cost spotted Corey Hertzog on a run and played a perfect ahead to him. Hertzog beat the Hofstra goalkeeper with a well-placed one timer, giving the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.
Just under seven minutes later, at the 22:43 mark, Penn State doubled its advantage. Jason Yeisley corralled a loose ball on the far wing just outside of the goalie box, turned, and centered a pass. Unmarked, Hertzog poked the ball in net for his second score of the game.
The offense remained in high gear, speeding to a third unanswered goal in the 32nd minute. Junior forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) crossed a pass to Matheus Braga, who then let loose a blast from 20 yards out that found net.
The Nittany Lions would hold that advantage for the remainder of the half and headed into halftime with a dominating 3-0 lead.
Penn State came out flat in the second half, allowing Hofstra's offense to get organized. The Pride got on the scoreboard over five minutes in when Rory McCrea headed a corner kick from Mike Annarumma into net past Warren Gross.
The Lions got back into the driver's seat in the 58th minute when a brilliant individual effort from Matheus Braga re-upped PSU's lead to three. In Hofstra's zone, on the near wing, Braga took the ball away from a defender, earning a one-on-one opportunity. The Hofstra goalkeeper came out to cut off Braga's run, but he was able to get a shot off and it flared untouched into the unmanned net.
Drew Cost put the finishing touches on Penn State's encore offensive performance, launching a rocket into net from 22 yards out in the 73rd minute.
The Nittany Lions will conclude play at the 2009 Penn State Classic on Sun., Sept. 13 when it faces Hartford, which earned a 1-1 draw with Ohio State in tonight's tournament opener, at 2:30 p.m. at Jeffrey Field. Preceding the Penn State-Hartford clash, Ohio State will take on Hofstra (12:00 p.m.). Admission to the Penn State Classic and to all home men's soccer games is free.