By: Matylda Zamudio
ENOLA, Pa.— The Penn State Beaver men's soccer team took down Central Penn College (8-6) during Wednesday's tight road match thanks to a strong 5-3 first-half performance.
Sophomore Williams Cruz (Springfield/Robert E. Lee) led the offense today with three goals and two SOG, followed by freshman Mishael Garcia (Los Angeles/Alexander Hamilton), who scored two goals and took four SOG. Senior John Kazmierczyk (Conway/Quigley) and senior Darrion Gilmore (New Brighton) both contributed one goal apiece and each took two SOG. Senior John Valiga (Ambridge) also scored one goal and took four SOG for the day.
Freshman Brennan Schultz (Kane/Kane Area) served as goalie for the first 77 minutes of the game and had five saves against the nine SOG he faced. Freshman Julian Hauff (Frederick/Governor Thomas Johnson) served as the goalie for the remaining 13 minutes and had two saves against the two SOG he faced.
Beaver pounced on the scoreboard early thanks to the quick attack by Cruz, knocking back the first goal for Beaver, which was just shy of the 3-minute mark (1-0). But the men of Central Penn retaliated immediately with a goal 30 seconds of their own to tie the game at 1-1. Three minutes later, Central Penn made its way back to Beaver's box and struck another goal in the take the lead at 2-1. But less than two minutes later, Cruz's quick feet got him back in scoring territory, and he sent the ball flying past Central Penn's goalie to tie the game at 2-2. The game went scoreless for the next 13 minutes, but Central Penn hit back a third goal to regain the lead over Beaver (3-2). At the 24th minute, momentum shifted to Beaver, starting with senior Romaine Thompson (Philadelphia/Penn Wood) who found Cruz to assist on a third Cruz goal, tying the game up at 3-3. A minute later, Garcia scored back-to-back, the second of which was off an assist by Kazmierczyk to take a 5-3 advantage against Central Penn to end the first half.
The teams battled until the end in the second half, with Central Penn striking first only a minute in to cut Beaver's lead to one (5-4). The teams both played tough defense for the next 18 minutes and hindered the scoring. But at the 63rd minute, Gilmore built up Beaver's lead back to two with after firing a powerful kick into Central Penn's net (6-4). The Central Penn men didn't stay silent for long and answered back with their fifth goal four minutes later (6-5). Then, at the 73rd minute, freshman Jake Ross (Munhall/Steel Valley) got the ball to senior Kazmierczyk, who connected for Beaver's seventh goal and a 2-point advantage.
With less than 10 minutes to go, Kazmierczyk served up a goal of his own to put Beaver up by three. While Central Penn managed to put up a late goal to cut Beaver's lead by two, the Lions' defense was able to fend off the opponents from scoring again and emerged with the 8-6 victory.
After today's match, the Lions improve to a 1-3 overall record. The Lions will be on the road for their first PSUAC conference game of the season against Penn State Scranton this Saturday, Sept. 21. The game is slated for 3 p.m.