Krispin's Golden Goal Sends Nittany Lions into Semifinals of Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament
Nov. 12, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sophomore defender Patrick Krispin (The Woodlands, Texas) played the unlikely hero for No. 2 seed Penn State (11-6-2) on Thursday afternoon, scoring his first career goal to lift the Nittany Lions to a 1-0 double overtime victory over No. 7 seeded Michigan (10-7-1) in an opening round match-up of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament.
With the win, Penn State advances to play sixth-seeded Michigan State (11-6-2), who downed No. 3 seed Northwestern 1-0 earlier in the day, at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at host Indiana University's Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The semifinal game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
The game winner came in the 106th minute, generated off a corner kick from Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The junior midfielder sent his kick into the box, where it was sent back out by a Michigan defender. Krispin, positioned on the left wing, had the ball come to him. He immediately fired a left-footed bullet from 24 yards out that found its way through the defensive clutter and into net far post, past a diving Michigan goalkeeper.
For Krispin, who has played in 15 games this season with three starts, the goal was not only the first as a Nittany Lion but was just his fifth shot of the year. His powerful shot and dead-on aim should come as no surprise, as the Texas native was recruited as a forward but made the successful conversion to defense late last season. Krispin was in the line-up in relief of starting left back Andy Parr (Hummelstown, Pa.), who left the game in the second half with an injury.
Penn State outshot Michigan for the game, 25-10, and held a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) led all players with seven shots, including three on frame. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) recorded four saves en route to his eighth shutout of the season.
Penn State got off to a shaky start to the game, struggling to gain possession early on. Michigan used that to its advantage, using two corner kicks to keep the ball in the PSU end, resulting in threatening but failed scoring opportunities from Jeff Quijano and Mauro Fuzetti. However, the Nittany Lions soon began to get organized and found their rhythm as the half wore on, leading to several excellent chances, particularly by sophomore forward Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.).
In the sixth minute, after a pretty passing combination involving Andy Parr (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.), Hertzog tracked the ball down on the right wing. However, his angle was bad and his shot was hauled in by Michigan goalkeeper Chris Blais.
Penn State's best chance came with 16:50 remaining in the half when a deep pass was served into the box where senior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) was positioned. He headed a pass to Hertzog, who was alone on the left wing. His arcing shot of his knee tipped downward off the crossbar but was quickly cleared by the Michigan defense.
The Nittany Lions remained in control in the early going of the second half. Just minutes in, Patrick Krispin served a pass into the box that Corey Hertzog controlled and then pushed to Drew Cost. Trying to get a foot on the bounding pass, Cost mishit it and it trickled to a Michigan defender, who cleared the ball.
The landscape in addition to the pace of the game was permanently altered with 37:41 remaining in regulation when a scuffle near midfield between the teams resulted in red cards being issued to Michigan's Justin Meram and Penn State's Mark Fetrow (West Chester, Pa). Both squads played 10-on-10 soccer for the remainder of the game.
Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) did his defensive duty to keep the contest scoreless in the 54th minute with an athletic save. He tracked down a shot from the head of Hamoody Saad, jumping high to snag the ball out of the air.
Hertzog nearly resolved the issue with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Off a corner kick, he had an uncontrolled ball come to him on the far post. Unmarked, he put a shot on an open goal that was kicked away by Michigan defender Julian Robles, who was posted on the back line.
Another prime opportunity came to the Nittany Lions with less than a minute left on the clock. Near midfield, Drew Cost played a through ball, targeting Corey Hertzog who was on a run just outside the top of the box. His attempt to get a foot on the ball and disrupt its path just missed and the Cost shot went wide.
Penn State dodged a major bullet in the first overtime to stay alive and set the stage for Krispin's heroics. After a misclear by the Nittany Lion defense off a Michigan free kick, Mauro Fuzetti had a clear shooting path to the goal, but his shot lifted high of net.
With the victory, Penn State owns a 3-0 mark versus Michigan and a 23-12-4 all-time record in Big Ten championship play.