With the Penn State men’s soccer team coming off two tough, last-minute losses in the past week to Lehigh and No. 14 Indiana, the team is focused on staying positive and fighting through the rough stretch.
The Nittany Lions (6-3-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on Michigan (3-5-0, 1-1-0 Big Ten) Saturday night in their second conference road game of the season.
Last year’s contest featured plenty of drama with three goals in the final 15 minutes. Michigan scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute just 18 seconds after Penn State tied the game at one.
With both teams coming off double overtime games last Saturday, attacker Hasani Sinclair feels that the Lions have to come out strong right away in the first half and not let Michigan get comfortable on defense.
“We’re just going to run at them with non-stop offense and constant pressure,” Sinclair said.
After the team conceded a 90th minute goal last Tuesday against Lehigh and a 106th minute goal to Indiana on Saturday, losing both games 1-0, the Lions have been focused on fixing their mistakes and moving forward.
Coach Bob Warming said the team has been working hard throughout the week and has done a good job of bouncing back.
“You got to take everything that went wrong and work on correcting it,” Warming said. “The backs have done a great job with that. The forwards have done lots of forward training, so they look good.”
During the offense’s rough spell, having scored just one goal in the past three contests, the Lions have looked to their defense to keep them in games. The defense is the second best in the conference, allowing 0.60 goals per game, trailing only Indiana, which has allowed 0.55 goals per game.
The team has brought a positive mindset to preparing for the Wolverines, knowing that the past two games were just a small chapter in a long season.
“Our guys are all about the process,” Warming said. “Our guys know that the season is not over. We got a lot of season left and just have to come out and keep working.”
With Michigan struggling so far this season on defense, having allowed 13 goals in eight games, the Lions’ forwards will look to create goal scoring opportunities and take advantage of their chances. So far, the Wolverines have shut out just one team, a 3-0 win against Vermont in the second game of the season.
The Lions are hoping the week off since Saturday’s game against Indiana will help the team as it focuses on getting back to scoring goals.
Lions’ leading scorer Julian Cardona hopes the downtime will allow the team to take advantage of their fitness.
“Our bodies will recover. We’ll be fit and ready,” Cardona said.