By: Matylda Zamudio
New Brighton, Pa. -- In their second of two back-to-back conference matchups at home this weekend, the Penn State Beaver men's soccer team competed against rival Penn State Scranton on Sunday afternoon. The men's two-game winning streaking was snapped after losing a tough game Saturday against Penn State Brandywine, which put the team at 1-1 in the conference standings. Beaver hopes to revive their record by adding another conference win against Scranton.
Looking reenergized and focused as the first period began, Beaver came aggressive and showed improved ball-hanging and passing in midfield and quickly moved the ball down to the 18-yard line. Danylo Yakymov, Williams Cruz, John Kazmierczyk and Shelton Hilliard all took shots at Scranton's net in the first four minutes of the game. Beaver continued to put pressure on Scranton's defensive line in the backfield. Hilliard launched another ball at the net, but it was blocked. Cory Mueller followed behind with a headshot, but it was saved by Scranton's goalie. Then, Beaver had a brief lapse in after a goalie-throw, and Scranton drove the ball into Beaver's defensive third and fired the ball past a defender. However, goalie Samuel Sharpless dove for a save. Beaver maintained possession of the ball for the next 14 minutes and fired another four shots in Scranton scoring territory. This steady attack paid off less than a minute later when Cruz scored Beaver's first goal on an assist by Darrion Gilmore 18 minutes into the first half. For the latter part of the first period, Scranton struggled with maintain ball possession in the midfield, as Beaver continued to attack at near the net. At the 29th minute of the game, Yakymov scored another goal, giving Beaver a 2-0 lead. Scranton grew frustrated which allowed Yakymoy to weave past two defenders and score a goal on an assist Amsa Sanneh. As the first period came to an end, Beaver held a 3-0 lead.
Less than a minute into the second half, Darrion Gilmore sprinted down the field and scored a goal on an assist by Yakymov, racking up four unanswered goals for Beaver. As the second period went on, the Beaver men overwhelmed Scranton in midfield and forced several turnovers from their opponents. However, there was a lapse in coverage in the midfield and Scranton drove the ball to Beaver's net and scored in the 67th minute. The scored was now 5-1. This late point in the game didn't swift the momentum much for Scranton's offense, and this allowed Sanneh to score another goal at 83rd minute and seal the win for Beaver with a final score of 5-1 for the day.
Yakymov led the offense with 2 goals and 1 assist. Sharpless also did a good job protecting the net with 5 saves for the day. Saturday's win helps the men's team improve to a 2-1 conference record and 4-4 for the regular season.
The men will compete against another conference opponent, Penn State Hazleton, on the road on Saturday, Sept. 29. The game begins at 2 p.m.