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Oct. 14, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer notched its second win in Big Ten play with a 2-1 victory over Michigan State at Jeffrey Field Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions improve to 7-4-2 (2-1-1 Big Ten), while the Spartans drop to 5-7-1 (1-2-1 Big Ten).
The Lions continue their 2012 campaign with a showdown against in-state foe Bucknell at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Jeffrey Field before hitting the road for a meeting with Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., Oct. 21.
Penn State jumped out to a 2-0 lead before holding on for the eventual 2-1 win on an unseasonably warm October day. Senior Daniel Burnham (Boise, Idaho) opened the scoring for the Lions, sending home a rebound in the 20th minute, for his third goal of the season. A bit of bad luck for the Spartans increased the PSU lead in the 48th minute as John Gallagher's (Pine Bush, N.Y.) corner kick deflected off an MSU defender and past goalkeeper Zach Bennett. Penn State is now 4-0 in contests when they score multiple goals.
The Lions finished with an 11-8 advantage in shots, including a 5-2 mark in shots on goal, as well as a 7-0 lead in corner kicks. PSU keeper Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.) picked up the win to improve to 2-1-2 this season.
Burnham's scoring play started as Mikey Minutillo (San Jose, Calif.) blocked a clearing attempt at the edge of the MSU penalty area. Minutillo sent the ball in the box, where the Spartan defense stifled the attack. After some movement, Julian Cardona (Lincoln, Neb.) took control near the top of the box and unleashed a shot that required a diving effort from Bennett. The MSU keeper could not keep control, however, and Burnham corralled the ball near the left post and placed his shot on a tight angle into the far side of the goal.
Penn State controlled possession for much of the first half, creating an 8-3 lead in shots and 3-0 advantage in corners in the first 45 minutes.
The Nittany Lions extended their lead to 2-0 early in the second half as Gallagher's 48th-minute corner kick deflected off Michigan State's Ryan Keener and past Bennett. The Spartans struck back minutes later as Luke Norman found Adam Montague on the right side of the box. From there, Montague fired a right-footed shot past Wolverton to cut the lead back to a one-goal margin in the 55th minute.
The second half continued with back-and-forth play between the teams until the Spartans threatened in the 80th minute. Norman created space near the edge of the 18-yard box, but couldn't get his shot past Wolverton. Burnham responded for the Nittany Lions five minutes later, nearly sneaking a shot past a diving Bennett.