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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s soccer team fell 2-1 in a battle to the very last minute to the No. 20 Michigan Wolverines Sunday, Oct. 1 at Jeffrey Field.
The Blue and White held the ranked Wolverines to a 1-1 tie until the final 30 seconds of the game when a shot from the top of the box fell in underneath the crossbar to secure the Maize and Blue victory.
“It’s not just rank, it’s what gets you instantly determined, so it is heartbreaking to lose the match,” said head coach Bob Warming. “We worked on a different system for this game. We worked on a different shape, and in two days the guys adopted it and did incredibly well with it. I’m super proud of them for that.”
Redshirt-freshman Josh Levine (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) made his first start donning the Blue and White after coming in as a sub against Temple in the previous match. Levine gave up just one goal and made a career-high nine saves for the Nittany Lion. The saves also marked a season-high for a Penn State keeper in 2017.
Freshman Ethan Beckford (Manchester, England) scored his first collegiate goal to put Penn State up 1-0 in the first half, leading the Nittany Lions with two shots on net. Sophomore Christian Sload (Reading, Pa.) tallied his third point of the season on an assist on the Beckford goal and Aymar Sigue (St. Alberta, Alberta) had two shots on the day.
The Wolverines totaled 24 shots on the day with 11 reaching goal. Mohammed Zakyi led the team with seven shots and one goal, while Jack Hallahan had five shots, one goal and one assist on the afternoon. Andrew Verdi earned the win in net, making one save and giving up one goal.
Michigan tallied eight shots in the first half before Penn State was able to find its first but the Nittany Lions made their shot count as Beckford headed the ball into the back of the net from four-yards out on a cross from the right side of the field in the 26th minute.
The Wolverines continued to control the ball to open up the second half, outshooting Penn State 12-4 through 68 minutes of action. A cross proved to be dangerous for the Blue and White defense when the ball tapped the foot of a striking Zakyi into the back of the net in the 70th minute.
A perfect cross came into the box in the 83rd minute for Penn State but the header sailed wide and the match remained tied for the final seven minutes, sending the game into overtime.
With just 37 seconds left on the clock Hallahan gathered the ball at the top of the box and placed it under the left side crossbar to lift Michigan to a 2-1 double overtime victory over the Nittany Lions.
Penn State will have a five day break before returning to action at Jeffrey Field Saturday, Oct. 7 when No. 1 Indiana comes to Happy Valley for a 7 p.m. match.