Penn State men’s soccer (5-8-2, 2-3-2 Big Ten) came back from a two goal deficit to force overtime against Maryland (7-5-3, 4-3-0 Big Ten) Tuesday evening on the road, but were beaten by a 107th-minute golden goal. The teams were competing for fourth-place in the Big Ten regular season table and a home playoff match.
Impressive volleyed goals from Aaron Molloy and Noah Pilato canceled strikes from Vinicius Lansade and Amar Sejdic before Paul Bin’s overtime rocket won the match for the Terrapins.
How It Happened
From the opening kickoff, Penn State looked a team in waiting — pushed back against Maryland’s bustling student section by a constant wave of Terrapin pressure, hoping for a defensive mistake or a moment of attacking brilliance to break through the Maryland backline against the run of play. Maryland pressed high from the start, chaining Ethan Beckford, Austin Maloney and Callum Pritchatt to the defensive third. Jeremy Rafanello was often left alone up front, sprinting between the solid center back duo of Donovan Pines and Johannes Bergman in vain, trying to collect his team’s desperate forward clearances.
Bergmann tested sophomore goalkeeper Josh Levine early in the first half with a powerful free kick. The Nittany Lions’ shot stopper, screams of the student section at his back, dove to make the save and preserve the Nittany Lions’ shutout.
He was beaten by Maryland winger Vinicius Lansade in the 27th minute. The Terrapins hurled a long throw into Penn State’s penalty area, the Nittany Lions failed to clear the ball, and Lansade, turning swiftly, placed a powerful shot just inside the right post to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.
Amar Sejdic doubled the Terrapins’ lead in the 44th minute — picking up Callum Pritchatt’s turnover in midfielder, dribbling to the top of the penalty area, and curling an unstoppable low shot past Levine’s outstretched hand.
Pritchatt almost atoned for his giveaway in the final minute of the period, but Maryland goalkeeper Dwayne St. Clair leaped to deny his curling free kick taken from just outside the box.
But the first half drama wasn’t over. With three seconds remaining in the first period, Aaron Molloy collected a Maryland clearance thirty yards from goal, chested the ball onto his right foot, and smashed a half volley past St. Clair to bring the Nittany Lions within one.
Penn State carried the momentum from Molloy’s goal into the second half, pressing higher and creating more attacking chances for Mac Curran and Noah Pilato but looking vulnerable on the counter attack. Levine and the backline were tested by two early corner kicks and several dangerous shots.
Penn State’s offense found its rhythm with fifteen minutes remaining in the first half, as Beckford and outside back Ryan Gallagher served dangerous crosses into the Maryland penalty area. Pritchatt’s pinpoint cross found Pilato alone in the area, but the attacking midfielder’s header floated over St. Clair’s crossbar.
The redshirt senior found the back of the net in the 84th minute — collecting the ball at the top of the penalty box and, like Molloy, rifling a first-time, outside-of-the-foot volley past St. Clair to draw level with the Terrapins.
The score remained locked at two throughout the final five minutes of the half, and the match entered overtime.
Beckford opened overtime with a signature dribbling run into the Maryland penalty area. His flicked cross was stuffed by St. Clair. Penn State’s defense was forced to defend several dangerous free kicks and headed chances in the first period of overtime, but preserved its shutout soundly thanks to Levine’s hands and the areal power of Dani Marks and Brendan Hackenberg.
Sejdic almost doubled his goal tally in the 102nd minute, rifling a powerful swerving shot at Levine that forced the Penn State goalkeeper to punch the ball to safety.
Penn State seemed to be poised to earn a crucial point on the road until the 107th minute. Sebastian Elney flicked a pass inside to Paul Bin, who turned, accelerated past Dani Marks, and blasted a shot into the bottom corner of Levine’s net to win the match for Maryland with a golden overtime goal and a final score of 3-2.
Player of the Match
Amar Sejdic| Senior|Midfielder
Maryland’s in-form attacking midfielder won his individual battle against Aaron Molloy, controlling the Terrapins’ tempo and scoring a classy individual goal in the first half.
Penn State (5-8-2) host Rutgers at Jeffrey Field Sunday, October 28 at 4 p.m. in the final match of the regular season.
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