Men's Soccer Downs Bucknell, 2-1, to Gain Hard Fought Road Win
Oct. 21, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team (9-4-2) gained its second road win of the season, downing regional rival Bucknell (11-4-0), 2-1, in a hard fought contest in Lewisburg on Wednesday evening.
Sophomore forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) earned his third game winning and seventh overall goal of the season to lead the Nittany Lions. Redshirt junior Andy Parr (Hummelstown, Pa.) recorded his first career assist on the scoring play.
Redshirt junior Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was brilliant in goal, registering six saves.
Play in the first half was fast and furious, marked by aggressive and physical action. Penn State controlled possession early on and nearly took a quick lead off a miscue by Bucknell goalkeeper Tommy Caso. An errant Nittany Lion pass into the Bison zone was allowed by the BU defense to be handled by Caso. He whiffed on an attempt to clear and the ball skipped past him and trickled just wide of goal.
The Nittany Lions' pressure finally paid dividends in the 29th minute when Corey Hertzog earned a throw in from the right wing. His toss was strong, sailing into the box near post, targeted for Jason Yeisley. However, the ball deflected off Yeisley's mark, Bucknell defender Ross Liberati, and into the upper corner of net for an own goal.
Near the end of the first half, the tide turned and Bucknell began to earn the better scoring chances. A corner kick with just over two minutes remaining produced its best opportunity. Bucknell's initial shot was cleared off the line by sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Arment (Manheim, Pa.) but still remained deep in the Penn State zone. Jeff Plump got his foot on the ball and nearly put it in but outstanding awareness by Warren Gross rendered a key save. Pushing and shoving by both sides ensued but no cards were issued.
Bucknell came out of the gates quickly in the second half and equalized the game in the 52nd minute. After beating a Penn State defender on the right wing, CK Kumah found a shooting lane and snuck a low left footed liner into goal on the near post.
Penn State answered back with less than four minutes later. Near midfield, Andy Parr sent a pass down the middle of the field that Jason Yeisley let go by him with a fake touch. The ball then found the foot of Corey Hertzog, who was set up one-on-one with a Bucknell defender. Hertzog faked left and sent a low left footed rocket from 16 yards out that found net on the far post.
The Nittany Lions nearly lengthened their advantage at the 27:40 mark when sophomore defender Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.) served a perfect pass from the far right wing to far post seeking an unmarked Jason Yeisley. The two-time All-Big Ten forward had an open goal but couldn't get a foot on it.
Gross kept Penn State in the lead with a spectacular save with 15:50 remaining in the game. Off a corner kick, Bucknell midfielder Sean King had the ball come to him. He played it off his chest to himself and fired a skimming shot from 25 yards out that made its way through the clutter and looked to be headed into goal, but Gross snagged it with a fully-extended, diving save.
Junior forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) and junior midfielder Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) also had excellent, near-miss chances in the final minutes of the game. Gelsinger had a laser shot from 30 yards out that skimmed the cross bar while Braga sent a shot just wide of an open goal from left wing to far post.
The Nittany Lions will conclude their longest road stretch of the season on Wed., Oct. 28 when it treks west to Ohio for a showdown with undefeated and No. 1-ranked Akron (14-0-0). Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at what will likely be a sold out Lee Jackson Field. The Zips, which have outscored their opponents, 41-3, and have not allowed a goal at home this season, own wins over Big Ten teams Indiana (1-0), Ohio State (3-0) and Michigan (5-1). A year ago, Penn State used the first career goal by defender Mark Fetrow (West Chester, Pa.) to earn a 1-1 draw with then-No. 2 Akron at Jeffrey Field.
Senior forward Jason Yeisley has been named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, an honor that recognizes excellence in four areas - classroom, community, character, and competition. Fans can vote for Yeisley EVERY DAY by texting M9 to 74567 and by visiting www.seniorclassaward.com. Fan balloting, which counts for 1/3 of the final vote, continues until Nov. 13.