Men's Soccer Falls to Old Dominion, 2-1
Sept. 18, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. - The Penn State men's soccer team came up on the short end of a hard fought, tough contest with Old Dominion on Friday evening, falling 2-1 to the Monarchs at the ODU Soccer Complex in Norfolk, Va. Play was marred by nine cards and two of the three goals scored in the game came off penalty kicks.
The Nittany Lions' Achilles' heel the past three years reared its ugly head again when the anchor of their defense, starting goalkeeper Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), left the field midway through the first half with an injury. Gross came into the game with three shutouts through the season's first five contests.
Junior midfielder Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) scored his team high fourth goal of the season when he converted on a penalty kick opportunity in the 69th minute.
Redshirt freshman Bryan Heffner (Gaithersburg, Md.) replaced Gross between the pipes, logging the first minutes of his collegiate career. He recorded two saves in 62-plus minutes of work.
The first half was a defensive battle with four yellow cards, two to each team, doled out and just a combined seven shots recorded. Braga registered three of Penn State's four shots, including two that were on goal. Senior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.), who entered the game tied for the team lead in points despite being held scoreless for the first time all season versus Hartford, was held without a shot through the contest's first 45 minutes. He finished the game with two shots, one on goal.
Action, as well as contention, picked up significantly in the second half. Old Dominion staked itself a 1-0 lead at the 50:00 mark when Daniel Haywood netted a goal. The Monarchs doubled their advantage 13 minutes later as Nane Joseph scored on a successful penalty kick.
Penn State then answered back with Matheus Braga's penalty kick conversion.
In the 70th minute, the Nittany Lions were forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game when sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Arment (Manheim, Pa.) drew a red card. Despite the disadvantage, Penn State still controlled possession and had viable chances to knot the game in the final 20 minutes.
The Nittany Lions will wrap up their two game road swing through the state of Virginia on Sunday when they venture west to Harrisonburg to take on James Madison in a 2 p.m. match-up. Penn State is 1-2-1 all-time versus the Dukes, including last season's 1-1 draw in University Park.