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Oct. 18, 2016
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s soccer team posted a 2-2 draw with No. 22 Akron in the non-conference mid-week match Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Jeffrey Field.
The Nittany Lions not only played back-to-back ranked opponents but also tallied their second double overtime game of the week. With the tie, Penn State moves to 6-6-2 overall, while Akron is now 7-4-2. Furthermore, the draw with the Zips is the second time Penn State has tied with a nationally-ranked opponent as it played then-No. 1 Stanford to a 0-0 tie to kick off the 2016 campaign.
“I think this whole game was a great advertisement for college soccer,” said head coach Bob Warming. “This is what great college soccer should look like, skillful teams playing hard that move the ball well and exciting players on the field. I’d like to play this game every week.”
All four goals on the evening were scored by two players as senior Connor Maloney (Harrisburg, Pa.) netted both goals for the Nittany Lions and Stuart Holthusen posted his first two goals of the season for Akron.
Maloney’s two goals on the night paced the Nittany Lions and was the third time this season that a Penn State player has had a multi-goal effort. Sophomore Dayonn Harris (Ontario, Canada) and freshman Pierre Reedy (Kutztown, Pa.) both put two shots on net for the Blue and White, while Riley Grant (Copley, Ohio) had one on the night. Harris posted his eighth point of the season with an assist on Maloney’s first goal and freshman Noah Pilato (Oak Hill, Va.) earned his second assist of the season on the goal. In net, redshirt-junior Evan Finney (San Francisco, Calif.) made a career-high six saves for the Nittany Lions and gave up two goals.
Holthusen led Akron with two goals, while Sam Gainford and Jonathan Lewis each put two shots on net to test Finney. Goalkeeper Ben Lundt made six saves in the net for the Zips and gave up two goal in 110 minutes of action.
Penn State had three early chances on the Zips, but Akron found the net first when Pau Belana lofted the ball up the field to a rushing Holthusen. Holthusen made a quick move past Finney to the right before putting the ball in the back of the net on a soft touch from two-yards out to give Akron the 1-0 lead in the 11th-minute of the match.
The Blue and White closed out the half with three final shot attempts, two of which landed on goal, but were unable to tie up the score as it headed into the locker room trailing 1-0 to the Zips.
Penn State found the break it needed in the 66th-minute of the match when Pilato dribbled between two defenders before finding the foot of Harris inside the box. Harris gave a soft tap back to C. Maloney, who ripped a shot from 19-yards out to knot the score at 1-1.
Minutes later C. Maloney found his first two-goal match of the season when he picked up a rebound from 8-yards out to give the Nittany Lions a one goal advantage with 16 minutes to play.
The two teams found themselves in a tie for the second time in the night when Holthusen netted a header off a cross for his second goal of the evening with nine minutes left in regulation.
With neither team being able to find the back of the net, Penn State headed into its second double overtime match in a span of three days.
The Blue and White tallied one shot in the two 10-minute overtime periods, while Akron had nine of its 23 shots. The match ended in a tie as neither team was able to find the golden goal on the evening.
Penn State continues its five-match home slate with a Friday night Big Ten Conference match against Rutgers. The Nittany Lions and the Scarlet Knights are set to square off Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.