Men's Soccer Knocks Off No. 17 Indiana, 1-0, on Senior Night
Nov. 1, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On the strength of a goal by junior forward Vincent Salvatico (Chester Springs, Pa.) and a superb defensive effort, the Penn State men's soccer team (5-9-3, 2-3-0 Big Ten) sent No. 17 Indiana (9-5-3, 2-3-0) down to defeat, 1-0, on Saturday evening at Jeffrey Field. The victory was the Nittany Lions fourth in their last six meetings with the Hoosiers.
For seniors Ryan Badaracco (Wexford, Pa.), Andy Machi (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) and Barkley Miller (New Freedom, Pa.), who were playing in their final regular season home game, the win was also the fourth of their career versus Indiana. The trio was honored for their contributions to the program in a special pre-game Senior Night ceremony.
Vincent Salvatico's game winner was his second goal of the season. Junior midfielder Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) earned his team-high fourth assist of the season on the play, with all four coming in the last five games in which he has played.
Despite missing top back Andres Casais (Caracas, Venezuela), the Penn State defense played, perhaps, its best game of the season, holding the talented Indiana attack at bay for 90 minutes. Making his second straight start, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Warren Gross (Greenfield Center, N.Y.) recorded three saves en route to earning his first career shutout. In his first career start, freshman Patrick Krispin (The Woodlands, Texas), who recently converted from offense, contributed a standout performance.
Penn State controlled possession early, tallying four shots through the game's first 20 minutes. Continuing that trend, Matheus Braga sparked the play that would eventually result in the game-winning goal in the 26th minute by firing a shot toward Indiana goalkeeper Chay Cain from 20 yards out. The IU netminder got his hands on the rocket but could not control it. Vincent Salvatico took advantage of the mistake by quickly gaining possession to the left of the goal and sneaking a sharp-angled shot by Cain and into net.
The score held up for the remainder of the half and the Nittany Lions went to the break with a lead for the fourth time this season.
Penn State again had the edge in possession in the second half, outshooting Indiana 10-2 until a flurry of attempts in the waning moments of the game upped the Hoosiers' total to eight. Indiana's best chance to tie the game came late, when senior forward Kevin Noschang served a perfect pass from the right wing to the far post. He connected with his target, Eric Alexander, who headed a hard shot towards goal, but Warren Gross made a tremendous save to stop the scoring attempt.
The Nittany Lions will finish out regular season and Big Ten play next weekend when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on No. 18 Michigan (10-4-2, 2-1-1 Big Ten) in a 2 p.m. game on Sat., Nov. 8 at the U-M Soccer Complex. Penn State is 7-2-1 all-time versus the Wolverines, including last season's 2-1 victory at Jeffrey Field. The postseason will kickoff the following weekend when the Lions begin pursuit of their fourth conference crown at the 2008 Big Ten Championship. To be hosted by the University of Wisconsin, the tournament is scheduled for Nov. 13-16 at the McClimon Soccer Complex in Madison.