Jordan Tyler is still working his way back from an ACL injury he suffered last season, but the early results are looking good.
The forward scored the game-winning goal in the 71st minute as the Penn State men’s soccer team (5-2-1) rallied from an early deficit to beat West Virginia 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Coach Bob Warming said it is difficult for players to not only recover, but to regain confidence and form pre-injury.
“I was proud of him,” the fourth-year coach said. “It’s so hard to get back [from an ACL injury].”
Warming also said that Tyler has slowly gotten his step back this season, calling him the most improved player in training.
The Mountaineers (3-3-1) jumped out to a lead just five minutes into the game after the Lions were unable to clear the ball from their 18-yard box. Senior Craig Stevens punished the visitors when his shot from 15-yards out deflected off a defender before finding the back of the net.
It didn’t take the Lions long to respond, as the team had a nice build up through the midfield to equalize just seven minutes later. Freshman Connor Maloney collected the ball and played it over the Mountaineer’s defense to an onrushing Shane Campbell. The midfield was first to the ball on the left side of the pitch before finishing for the first goal of his collegiate career.
After the exciting opening minutes to the match, both teams became more possession-orientated as the first half continued.
The Lions finally scored multiple goals in a single game when midfielder Grant Warming played a ball across the face of the goal to a streaking Tyler. The redshirt junior headed the ball into the net for what turned out to be the game-winner with 19 minutes remaining. The forward, who last scored in a game against Saint Peters on Sept. 9, 2011, missed last season because of the ACL injury.
The win over West Virginia was also the team’s first victory away from home this season, and Warming said the team reacted well after conceding early.
“I was pleased for so many reasons,” Warming said. “On the road and giving up a goal early, we had two chances right after and one of them was a goal.”
Matt Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 865-1828. Follow him on Twitter at @MattJordan7.