Nittany Lions Claim Key 2-1 Victory Over No. 14 Penn
Oct. 27, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Penn State gained its second consecutive win over a top 25 ranked opponent, knocking off No. 14 Penn (11-3-0), 2-1, on Wednesday night at Rhodes Field in Philadelphia. On the heels of their overtime besting of No. 25 Ohio State last weekend, the Nittany Lions overcame six yellow cards and playing down a man for the game's final 3:38 to gain the pivotal non-conference victory.
In a game that pitted Penn State's prolific offense versus Penn's stalwart defense, the PSU attack reigned supreme. The Nittany Lions cracked the Quakers' defense for two goals, a feat no other Penn opponent has accomplished this season. Spurring Penn State's offensive performance was the nation's top scoring tandem, junior forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) and senior midfielder Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
Braga scored his fifth goal of the season and his second in as many games to give Penn State (10-5-1) a second half lead. Junior midfielder Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.) tallied his third assist of the season on the play. Hertzog wasn't able to add his 15th goal of the season but it was his pressure that forced a game-winning own goal in the 77th minute.
The first half was evenly-played with neither team able to gain a decisive advantage. Penn State outshot Penn, 7-4, but none made it on goal.
In the second half, action picked up and in the 64th minute, Penn State put an abrupt end to the Quakers' five game-plus shutout streak. Lee triggered the play by winning a ball near the center circle and passing it off to Braga. With the Penn defense pushing back and goalkeeper Ben Berg off his line to stop a run by Hertzog, Braga fooled them all by blasting a perfectly-placed shot into net from 35-yards out.
Penn answered back less than five minutes later with Thomas Brandt heading in a shot for his fourth goal of the season.
The game-winning own goal was forced by a brilliant run from Corey Hertzog. Getting behind the defense, Hertzog put a shot by the Penn goalkeeper but, before it crossed the goal line, Quaker defender Zach Barnett's clear attempt deflected off teammate Steven Schlaefer and tumbled into net.
Penn State outshot Penn, 13-8, for the game but shots on goal were even at 4-4. With two goals, the Nittany Lions continued their trend of dominating the second halves of games, outscoring opponents 22-10 for the season.
Next week, the Nittany Lions will finish out their 2010 regular season schedule, beginning on Tues., Nov. 2 when they visit Easton, Pa. for a 7 p.m. match with Lafayette (6-6-3). Penn State owns a dominating 28-2-1 record in its series with the Leopards. The Lions will then play their Big Ten finale later in the week on Sat., Nov. 6 when they travel to face Wisconsin (1-11-2, 0-3-1) at 8 p.m. ET at the McClimon Soccer Complex. Penn State has lost four straight to the Badgers in Madison.
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