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Oct. 11, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team (3-7-2, 1-2-0) exploded for three first half goals, including two by freshman forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.), propelling it to a 3-2 come-from-behind upset of No. 17 Ohio State (7-3-2, 1-2-0) Saturday evening at Jeffrey Field. The victory was the Nittany Lions' first in Big Ten play this season and their first at home versus the Buckeyes since 2002.
"I thought we played well for the most part in the first half but gave up a couple of soft goals," said Penn State head coach Barry Gorman. "It was great the way the guys responded and came back to score three goals. I have nothing but high praise for that."
For Hertzog, the two first half goals were the first of his collegiate career. With six points for the season, he is tied for tops on the team with Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.). Junior forward Vincent Salvatico (Chester Springs, Pa.) started the scoring off for Penn State with his first goal of 2008 and his fourth as a Nittany Lion.
After tallying four goals in the first nine games of the season, Penn State's offensive display versus the Buckeyes marks the second time in three contests that it has totaled three goals. Prior to tonight, Ohio State had not allowed more than two goals in a single game this season and had surrendered just one in its previous five games.
Penn State dug itself an early 2-0 hole after giving up goals to Ohio State in the 18th and 27th minutes. Sophomore forward Konrad Warzycha, working a give-and-go with junior forward Andrew Magill, netted his first of the season to give the Buckeyes the 1-0 lead. Ohio State then padded its advantage with Magill's third goal of the season, with an assist going to Sam Scales on the play.
The equalizer for Penn State came just under 10 minutes later when two freshmen combined for a score. Defender Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.) was positioned with the ball in the near wing when he spotted an open Corey Hertzog in front of the goal. Lee served a perfect pass to Hertzog, who headed it in for his first career collegiate goal.
The Nittany Lions weren't done yet, though. In the 40th minute, Hertzog received the ball off a defender's deflection and sent a shot in from 20 yards out. The ball skipped unabated through the defense, then slipped through the arms of the OSU goalkeeper, and into goal.
The second half was a wild, hard-fought, back-and-forth affair with both teams scrapping for scoring opportunities. Penn State's best chance to seal the victory came with 13 minutes remaining when senior forward Barkley Miller (New Freedom, Pa.) and Corey Hertzog went on a 2-on-1 run. Miller hit Hertzog with a pinpoint crossing pass but Hertzog's looping shot on an open goal hit off the post, denying him the hat trick.
The Nittany Lions' chances to secure the win took a hit when, with 12 minutes left, junior defender Bobby Bohlen (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) received his second yellow card of the night and was ejected. Forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game, Penn State managed to fend off Ohio State by intensifying its defensive efforts.
Redshirt sophomore Liam Fitzwater (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.) was superb in goal, recording a season-high eight saves against a barrage of 22 Ohio State shots.
The Nittany Lions kick off a three-game road swing next week when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell (1-7-0, 0-1-0 Ivy League) on Wed., Oct. 15 in a 7 p.m. contest at Charles F. Berman Field. Penn State owns a 9-2-3 all-time record in games versus Cornell, including last season's 2-1 win at Jeffrey Field. The Lions' road stretch then continues with games at Lehigh (Oct. 21, 7 p.m.) and Wisconsin (Oct. 26, 1:30 p.m.).