Even though they couldn’t pull out the win in overtime, the Penn State men’s soccer team was not hanging its head as it left Michigan following a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (6-3-2, Big Ten 1-1-1) commanded the flow for the bulk of the match against the Wolverines (3-5-1, Big Ten 1-1-1).
A majority of possession throughout the match correlated to a potent Lions’ attack led by Marvin Ledgister and Hasani Sinclair.
Controlling the ball led to a total of 26 shots against Michigan, 16 more than the Wolverines attempted.
Of the 26 attempts, 14 of them were put on target, which is a season-high for the team. Unfortunately for the Lions, Wolverines goalkeeper Adam Grinwis decided to have a career night in net.
Grinwis, a redshirt sophomore, played well at home against No. 10 Notre Dame and Ohio State, and continued that trend against the Lions. The Michigan keeper used quick reactions and reliable hands to log a career-high 12 saves.
“Only a career day by the Michigan goalkeeper kept the Wolverines in the match,” coach Bob Warming said through an email.
Due mostly in part to Grinwis’ play, the Lions didn’t see the ball hit the back of the net until the 83rd minute.
Junior defender Akil Howard knotted things up after corralling a pass from Sinclair and sending it into the right corner of the net.
The goal for Howard was his first of the season, and Sinclair and Daniel Burnham were credited with assists.
The Lions could be bucking a trend considering their offensive success on the road in the Big Ten.
The Lions, who didn’t net a goal in the Big Ten road play in 2011, have picked up the attacking effort away from Jeffrey Field in conference this season.
In games against Michigan and Wisconsin, Penn State had the upper hand in the shot department, holding a 49-19 lead over its opponents.
Considering the difficulty of winning on the road in a tough Big Ten conference, that statistic is something the Lions should hang their hats on.
“It was the team’s second-straight great, dominating performance on the road in the Big Ten,” Warming said.
This type of offensive success is something the Lions hope to build on and continue moving forward with this week’s matchups.
Penn State faces off with No. 7 Akron on Oct. 10 and Big Ten foe Michigan State on Oct. 14, both at Jeffrey Field.
“We’re in the middle of an exciting week with Michigan, Akron and Michigan State,” Warming said. “With those last two at home this week for our fans, we can’t wait.”