Starting the Weekend Strong

Starting the Weekend Strong

If you were on Penn State’s campus this Friday, you may have doubted that any outdoor activities would take place in the evening hours. Luckily, however, the rain held off allowing the Penn State Men’s Soccer Team to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 8 p.m. on Jeffrey Field. Heading into the game with a 7-3-1 record, Penn State stood in first place in the Big Ten after winning a critical matchup 2-1 on the road against Indiana. This was the first time Penn State earned a shutout while playing Indiana on its own turf. Needless to say, momentum was with the Lions as they headed into their matchup Friday evening. Though the Wolverines were not ranked as highly as Penn State entering the game on Friday evening, they too, came off a road win (1-0 at Ohio State).

Penn State starters for the game against Michigan included Wolverton, Maloney, Warming, Campbell, Griffith, Robinson, Howard, Klerks, Seiler, Tyler and Falk. Though these 11 players earned the starting spots, the depth of the Nittany Lion bench has been particularly advantageous toward achieving the team’s recent success. Penn State junior Owen Griffith commented on this matter prior to Friday’s matchup stating, “We bring guys off the bench that are as productive and such different players than the starters and that's what we need to have a successful season" (

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In the early minutes of the game, Michigan’s James Murphy attempted a goal against the Lions, but put forth a shot that was just wide of the net. Ten minutes into the game, however, Michigan paid the price for handballing in the box, giving Penn State a chance to score off a penalty kick. Senior defender, Martin Seiler, took the kick, sliding the ball past the Michigan keeper and giving Penn State an early 1-0 lead. This was Penn State’s first penalty kick of the season and also marked the third goal of the season for Seiler. Late in the first half, Penn State almost earned another goal when defender Eli Dennis headed the ball toward the net. Half time stats were fairly even, although Michigan seemed to rank ahead in terms of team shots (5 for PSU, 7 for Michigan). Additionally, Michigan earned 6 corner kicks in the first half, while Penn State only earned 2.

The second half of Friday’s matchup proved even more exciting than the first. Penn State freshman Connor Maloney sent a beautiful ball to the center of the field and connected with Owen Griffith who sealed the deal for a 2-0 lead. In the 67th minute, Michigan sophomore James Murphy almost put the Wolverines on the board, but shot wide of the net. Penn State senior Grant Warming, son of Head Coach Bob Warming, earned the first goal of his career off a through ball from Drew Klingenberg, giving the Lions a comfortable 3-0 lead with very little time left in the game. With less than 7 minutes to play, the Wolverines finally found the back of the net when Yamann Sahlool took advantage of a loose ball in the box and scored his first goal of the season. Though Michigan finally got on the board, the lone goal was all the Wolverine’s could attain, thus resulting in a 3-1 win for Penn State.

This an exciting win for Penn State, allowing them to maintain their undefeated record in Big Ten play. Fans in attendance at Jeffrey Field can only hope that Penn State encounters similar success in Beaver Stadium tomorrow (when the football team takes on Michigan at 5 pm), and again at Jeffrey Field on Sunday (when the women’s soccer team takes on Michigan at 1 pm). Thanks to the men’s soccer team, Penn State starts its Homecoming weekend on a good foot.