Heartbreak just loves to haunt the Penn State men's soccer team.
After losing to a previously winless Lehigh on Tuesday in the 89th minute, the Nittany Lions (6-3-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) were hoping to rebound at home against No. 11 Indiana - and it looked like they would pull it out.
However, the Lions fell in double overtime 1-0 on Saturday after out-shooting and outplaying the Hoosiers (7-2-1, 2-0-0 Big Ten) for most of the contest.
With more than 3,000 fans in attendance, the 105-minute clash was an emotional one to say the least for the Lions and their supporters.
With that being said, let's take a look at some key points and numbers throughout the game.
Unsung Hero: Hasani Sinclair
While the stat line says his only contribution was two shots, Sinclair was the catalyst toward the end of regulation that had the Lions on the brink of victory. The senior, who has started in all but one game last season, came back on as a substitute in the 84th minute and used a combination of swiftness and footwork to muddle Indiana defenders. In the last five minutes, he drew multiple fouls including two yellow cards. These fouls set up dangerous free kicks for the Lions but they were unable to capitalize.
Biggest Surprise: Lack of production from Julian Cardona
While Sinclair was playing extremely well, it was shocking to not see Cardona on the pitch at all in overtime. Out of 105 minutes, Cardona only saw 54 minutes of playing time - something that would have been crazy early in the season. The senior forward is the Lions’ leading scorer on the season (five goals), but has been held scoreless now in the past four games. Despite his hot start to the season, Cardona has cooled off a bit and the Lions would benefit if he got back to his scoring ways.
Stat of the Night: 10
That’s the absurd number of offsides penalties that plagued the Hoosiers. It seemed like every time Indiana would have a 2-on-1 opportunity or even a 2-on-0, the side judge threw his flag up. While a few calls were questionable, most were obvious and it slowly became the theme of the night for Indiana.
Best Thing for the Lions: Defense proved it's one of the nation's best
I say that because it virtually shut down one of the nation's best offense in Indiana. Throughout a 105-minute game, Penn State’s back line led by Brian Forgue held the No. 11 team in the country to seven shots. That’s phenomenal. Also, the center backs locked in on Indiana’s Eriq Zavaleta and made his impact almost null and void. Zavaleta, who has seven goals on the season, was minimized to four shots and one on goal. Credit should also be given to the defense for drawing Indiana offsides on a consistent basis. Even though they lost, Saturday's defensive performance is something positive for the Lions to take away after a stinging defeat.