With plenty of build-up and excitement, Penn State looked to beat No. 8 Indiana on Sunday afternoon leap into the top-25.
But due to a costly early error by the Penn State defense, the No. 8 Hoosiers defeated the Nittany Lions 3-1 at Jeffrey Field on Sunday.
This was a tough one for Penn State as the team found itself in an 3-0 deficit in the first half as defenseman Brandon Hackenberg had to take a red card after Indiana caught the Penn State defense sleeping and got in behind.
Within 10 minutes the Hoosiers took advantage of the extra man, scoring three goals and essentially deflating any hope of a Nittany Lion upset win.
But the team showed no quit as Jeff Cook seemed to provide some energy at halftime and Penn State ended up winning the second half 1-0.
This is a tough one to swallow for the Nittany Lions but will not be a game that will define the season as Indiana is a top notch program once again this season with skilled forwards and rock solid defensemen.
The red card
Ultimately, the Brandon Hackenberg red card would wind up deciding this game early on.
Not only would Penn State have a man disadvantage for the remainder of the match, but it would have to go on without one of its best defenders in Brandon Hackenberg.
Although Hackenberg’s foul prevented a breakaway goal, it proved not to be worth it as the next 10 minutes were as bad for the Nittany Lions as it could’ve gotten as Indiana capitalized on three wide open looks
Penn State’s goaltending impresses and settles down after first half
Goalie Josh Levine looked strong again this afternoon, making seven quality saves as the Hoosier bombarded him with 15 total shots.
Plus, after the Indiana first half onslaught Levine kept the game competitive making some crucial saves once the Nittany Lions cut the lead to two.
Levine continues to prove why he has been the starter between the pipes over the course of the last few games and this game should not be discourage the confidence of Levine whatsoever.
Penn State kept its composure despite being a man down
Despite what the score may have been, Penn State never quit and showed that it is going to play a full 90 minutes every match.
With a man down in the second half, Penn State won the period and looked much more into the game than it did in the early stages.
And Indiana is a top class program, meaning that if Penn State can play a competitive match with a man down against an elite team like the Hoosiers, than it most certainly is ready for the rest of the Big Ten