No Luck for the Lions

No Luck for the Lions

On Wednesday evening, the Penn State men’s soccer team hosted the St. Francis Red Flash at Jeffery Field. Just like the women’s game on Sunday, this game was a Pink Out style event, raising money for the Pink Zone Breast Cancer fundraiser at Penn State. Before discussing the result, a few statistics should be highlighted:

  • Entering the game, Penn State was 10-0-0 all time against St. Francis.

  • Penn State freshman Mark Wadid (#9) and junior Owen Griffith (#12) each tallied 3 shots during the game.

  • As a team the Nittany Lions outshot the Red Flash 17-7.

  • Penn State entered the matchup with a 4-game winning streak.

Sounds like a recipe for success, correct? Not so fast. Despite the favorable statistics surrounding the

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event, Penn State was not able to capitalize on any of it’s 17 scoring opportunities against the Red Flash on Wednesday evening. Penn State’s Kyle MacDonald (#6), attempted a header into the net approximately 31 minutes into the first half, but the St. Francis keeper demonstrated resilience. Despite Wadid and Griffith’s penetration up top (executing 3 shots a piece), the game remained scoreless.

Although Penn State took 8 shots during the first half (compared to the Red Blaser’s only taking 2), neither team put more than half of their shots on frame. A similar pattered emerged in the second half, as neither team was able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity. The strategically aligned, closely marked, defense of St. Francis limited the ability for Penn State to find the back of the net. Even though St. Francis had well over 6 corner kicks for the night (Penn State not earning their first until the 82nd minute), the Nittany Lion defense held strong and kept the game scoreless. Owen Griffith (#12)’s header with 5 minutes left in the game added to the excitement, however, the St. Francis keeper blocked the shot sending the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, a counter attack from the Red Flash created a misunderstanding amongst the Penn State defensive line in double overtime. As a result, Saint Francis’s Ryan Byers capitalized on the scoring opportunity, giving SFU a 1-0 win.

Though this is the first time the Penn State men’s soccer team lost to Saint Francis, the Nittany Lions are preparing to bounce back in their upcoming road game. Be sure to tune in to the Big Ten Network and watch Penn State’s next matchup at Indiana University on Sunday 10/6 at 1 p.m.

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