For only the second time this season, the men’s soccer team (6-4-2, 0-3-0 Big Ten) find themselves unranked. This is following a week where the team went 1-1.
The Nittany Lions defeated the Penn Quakers last Tuesday night 2-0 at Jeffrey Field to remain unbeaten against in-state rivals this season (2-0). Goals by juniors Jacob Barron and Julian Cardona—both assisted by fellow junior John Gallagher—helped the Lions to put away the Quakers. The squad improved to 5-1-1 at home following the win.
Sunday afternoon things did not go as well for the Lions, who were searching for their first win and point in Big Ten play as they traveled to East Lansing to take on the Spartans. Facing a team that had only found the back of the net 12 times and had allowed 13 goals through 11 matches, one would have thought that the Lions would have been able to beat the Spartans. Unfortunately for the squad, that was not the case. They dropped a tough one on the road 1-0 and had difficulty on offense. The team only mustered four shots against the Spartans, none of which needed to be saved by the Spartans goalkeeper. The Lions also lost the corner kick battle 13-2. After the defeat, the Lions fall to 0-3 in the Big Ten with just three games remaining versus Northwestern and Wisconsin, and traveling to Ohio State sandwiched in between the remaining two Big Ten home matches.
Next up for the Lions is national powerhouse Akron Wednesday night. The Zips are ranked No. 5 in the country and are the defending national champions. They defeated the Lions 2-1 last season in Happy Valley when Michael Nanchoff sank the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 107th minute of play. The Lions hope that Wednesday night’s contest is a different result that last year’s match.