Penn State Men's Soccer Wins Overtime Thriller in Home Opener

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2004) - Freshman Richard Costanzo (Jefferson Hills, Pa.) scored the first goal of his career at 97 minutes, 35 seconds to lift the No. 13 Penn State men's soccer team to a 2-1 overtime victory over Virginia Tech in the team's home opener during the Penn State Nike Classic at refurbished Jeffrey Field.

The Nittany Lions, who improved to 2-0-3, stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games. They will battle Akron, a 3-1 winner over Ohio State, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Jeffrey Field. The Hokies will take on the Buckeyes beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday. Both games are free to attend.

Costanzo scored his game-winner off a scramble in front of the net. Junior Brian Devlin (Philadelphia, Pa.) headed the ball to senior Chad Severs (Ocean City, N.J.), who laid the ball back to Costanzo. Costanzo got a good view at the net and put the ball past Virginia Tech goalkeeper Chase Harrison to end the game.

Sophomore Simon Omekanda (Rochester Hills, Pa.) started the scoring in the game. Junior David Walters (Hunlock Creek, Pa.) played a ball down the left side of the field to junior Mike Lindemann (Yardley, Pa.). Lindemann dribbled into the corner and let go a perfect cross to Omekanda, who found the back of the net at 21:45.

Penn State dominated the first half of play. The Nittany Lions recorded eight shots to zero for the Hokies and five corner kicks to zero. Penn State continued to press into the second half and seemed to be in total control when Virginia Tech's Magnus Emarsson was ejected from the game after receiving his second yellow card 10 minutes into the second half.

But the yellow card only seemed to get the Hokies' attention. They recorded their first shot of the game six minutes later and then tied the game off a Bailey Allman goal at 71:45. Ian Taylor started the play by sending a long pass from beyond midfield into the box. Allman headed the ball past Penn State freshman goalkeeper Conrad Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Taylor, the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week for the past two weeks, stopped two shots to remain unbeaten in his young collegiate career.

The Nittany Lions forced much of the play over the final 19 minutes of regulation. Costanzo missed just high with a shot with 3:21 left to play and he then hit a post with six seconds remaining. Devlin found the back of the net several seconds later, but the officials ruled it went into the net after time had run out.

The Zips jumped out a 3-0 lead and held on to defeat Ohio State in the Nike Classic opener. Sinisa Ubiparipovic opened the scoring with an impressive shot from 30 feet out that landed in the bottom left corner of the net at 18:58.

Hans Jorge Haugland and Alex Odwell took notes and both found the bottom left corner of the net as well to help Akron, which improved to 4-0-1, jump out to the big lead.

The Buckeyes got on the board at 88:23 when Taylor Korpieski scored from 18 yards out.

For more information on Penn State men's soccer, please visit our official athletics website at

No. 13 Penn State 2 Virginia Tech 1 (OT) Virginia Tech 0 1 0 - 1 Penn State 1 0 1 - 2 1st half 1. Simon Omekanda, PSU, (Mike Lindemann, David Walters) 21:45. 2nd half 2. Bailey Allman, VT, (Ian Taylor) 71:45. Overtime 3. Richard Costanzo, PSU, (Chad Severs, Brian Devlin) 97:35. Shots: VT - 6; PSU - 17. Saves: VT - 2; PSU - 2. Corner kicks: VT - 0; PSU - 11. Fouls: VT - 12; PSU - 15. Records: VT - 3-3-0; PSU - 2-0-3. Next game: Akron at No. 13 Penn State, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State, 4 p.m. Sunday at Jeffrey Field.




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