No. 16 Penn State Downs St. Francis, 1-0, in NCAA First Round
Nov. 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 16 Penn State men's soccer posted its second straight shutout as Eli Dennis (Easton, Md.) scored a first-half goal in a 1-0 win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday night at Jeffrey Field. Penn State moves on to the NCAA Second Round to take on 10th-seeded UC Santa Barbara.
In the 37th minute, Drew Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.) tracked the ball down in the corner from Dennis and lofted a cross that skipped through the penalty area back to Dennis, whose volley put the Nittany Lions ahead from 12 yards out.
Goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Atlanta, Ga.) made four saves for his 21st career shutout and seventh of the season. The Terriers were shut out for just the fifth time in 2013.
Penn State (12-5-2) started the game strongly, earning two corner kicks in the opening six minutes. Klingenberg and Owen Griffith (Lewisburg, Pa.) combined on a play that sent Tyler through alone on net, but his 13-yard effort was saved by Jack Binks in the 13th minute.
Penn State upped the pressure on a Grant Warming (Omaha, Neb.) through ball in the 28th minute that earned Mark Wadid (Missasauga, Ont.) a shot that was blocked. That pressure finally paid off when Klingenberg and Dennis teamed up for the goal in the 37th minute.
The second half saw St. Francis (12-6-1) earn the better of the ball and try to force the pace of place. Penn State's stout defense, anchored by All-Big Ten First Team honoree Martin Seiler (Stuttgart, Germany) and fill-in starter Nate Lee (Derwood, Md.) snuffed out numerous Terrier attempts, holding their high-flying offense scoreless.
Lee did an exceptional job on SFC forward Kevin Correa who entered the match with 13 goals and five in his previous three games. Correa was held to just two shots, but one of them was most dangerous in the 57th minute. Correa, who specializes in free kicks, curled a left-footed effort from 35 yards out that dinged the left upright, which was the Terriers' best scoring chance.
From there, Penn State looked to manage the game efficiently and earn the advancing 1-0 win. Final shots were 10-10 with PSU owning a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Wolverton's four saves trumped Binks' two stops. In a chippy game, SFC was whistled for 13 fouls to Penn State's 11. The Terriers' earned two cautions and PSU had one.
Penn State moves on to the second round to face UC Santa Barbara on Sunday for a 9 p.m. ET matchup. The Nittany Lions improved to 26-29-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with a 21-7-1 record at Jeffrey Field.