By: Matylda Zamudio
Hazleton, Pa. -- The Penn State men's soccer team were on the road on Monday, where they took on conference rival Penn State Hazleton for the first of three games this week. The men enter the game fresh off a 5-1 conference win against Penn State Scranton and sit at 2-1 in the conference standings. With a win today, the men will improve to third place in the PSUAC standings.
Beaver came out aggressive right out of the gate and was the first grab possession of the ball. Less than a minute in, Beaver's Kevin Colindres shot at Hazleton's net, but the shot was blocked. But 40 seconds later, Danylo Yakymov head-shot the ball on an assist by Williams Cruz, landing the first goal on the board. The Beaver men kept possession of the ball for the next nine minutes and Cruz launched a 30-yards ball top right of the back of the net, earning Beaver another goal. Beaver remained aggressive in midfield, and Colindres got open and scored Beaver's third goal in the 13th minute followed by another goal by Yakymov four minutes later. For the remaining minutes of the first half, Beaver continued to drill shots at Hazleton's net and closed out the period with the team up 4-0.
The hot streak preceded for Beaver in the second quarter, as RJ Long scored a goal on an assist by Yakymov in the 52nd minute. But Hazleton retaliated and scored the team's first goal off a penalty kick less than a minute later. However, Yakymov answered Hazelton's goal less than a minute later, giving Beaver a 5-1 lead. Beaver was on fire, and Shelton Hilliard landed another goal on an assist by Darrion Gilmore five minutes later. The game got physical and Beaver ran into foul trouble including an offside in the 67th minute. Despite the 4-goal lead, the men battled until the very end with Amsa Sanneh taking two shots in the last three minutes that were saved by Hazleton's goaltender. Thanks to a great team performance, Beaver captured the conference win with a final score of 5-1.
With Monday's victory against Hazleton, Beaver climbs to third place in the PSUAC standings and improves to a 5-4 overall regular season record. The men will be back for more conference play on Saturday, Oct. 6, where the team will host rival Penn State Lehigh Valley. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m.