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Howard scored for the Lions in the 83rd minute to pick up the draw in his first start
Oct. 6, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - For the second time this season, 110 minutes was not enough to decide a winner and Penn State men's soccer picked up a tie against the Michigan Wolverines Saturday night. On a brisk autumn night at U-M Soccer Stadium, the Nittany Lions (6-3-2, 1-1-1 B1G) needed nearly 20 shots before drawing even with the Wolverines (3-5-1, 1-1-1 B1G), who opened the game with a goal in the fourth minute.
Junior Akil Howard (Queens, N.Y.) leveled the game in the 83rd minute, taking a feed from Hasani Sinclair (Coral Gables, Fla.) just a few yards from the goal and sending the ball into the right corner of the net. Daniel Burnham (Boise, Idaho) picked up a second assist on the goal. The Nittany Lions played behind nearly all of regulation after Michigan's TJ Roehn notched a goal in the fourth minute.
The goal marked Howard's first as a Nittany Lion, while the assists were the second of the season for both Sinclair and Burnham.
Penn State controlled possession and found itself on the attack a large portion of the game, recording 26 shots and forcing Michigan goalkeeper Adam Grinwis to make a career-high 12 saves. Nine Nittany Lions contributed to the shot column, including seven with shots on goal. Senior forward Marvin Ledgister (London, England) claimed five shots on goal of his own, while Grant Warming (Omaha, Neb.), Sinclair and Kelton Cheney (State College, Pa.) each posted two. The Lions also finished with a 9-4 advantage in corners. Penn State keeper Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.) moved his record to 1-1-2 after stopping one shot.
The Nittany Lions got to work early on offense as Minh Vu (Tuscon, Ariz.) earned a corner in the second minute. Warming took control of the ball past the edge of the box and sent a shot in, forcing Grinwis to make a save and give Penn State a second corner. The Michigan keeper had no problem punching the following attempt out.
Following the Grinwis goal kick, the Wolverines drove the ball down the right wing and into the corner, where Colin McAtee sent a cross to Roehn in the box. Roehn stooped down and headed the pass into the goal past an outstretched Wolverton.
Penn State gave the crowd a scare in the 10th minute after a UM foul gave the Blue and White a free kick from two feet outside the 18-yard box. Vu navigated the attempt through the crowd, but he could not bend the shot inside the right edge of the frame and sent it wide.
Senior center back Brian Forgue (Glenmoore, Pa.) preserved the one-goal margin in the 24th minute by heading out a ball off the end line in the goal mouth.
Penn State's best chance of the first 45 minutes came in the 38th as another free kick a yard outside the 18-yard box made its way to Cheney just yards from the goal. The freshman, needing to make a long stride to reach the ball, could not get enough power to push the shot into the open net before Grinwis jumped on the ball.
Despite trailing at halftime, the Nittany Lions peppered the Wolverines in shots, 13-3, including a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal, while leading in corners, 3-0, in the opening frame.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were quiet for Penn State, but Ledgister registered the team's first opportunity in the 57th minute. Vu sent a free kick in the middle of the box, where Ledgister made solid contact on a header right at Grinwis.
Following Howard's 83rd-minute score, Ledgister nearly gave Penn State the lead in the 85th minute after spinning at the top of the box and sending a left-footed blast at the goal, but Grinwis made a diving effort to get a hand on the ball to send it back.
The Michigan defense adjusted well early in the first overtime period, limiting the PSU chances. The Lions finally broke through in the 99th minute as Vu sent a free kick to Sinclair in the box. All alone, Sinclair sent a shot at Grinwis, who made the save but could not control the ball. Ledgister corralled the rebound and appeared poised to end the game, but a Wolverine defender mimicked Forgue's 24th-minute stop and jumped in front of the ball on the end line to head it out. After some back-and-forth movement, the Nittany Lions defended a Michigan corner as time expired to earn the draw.
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