Stony Brook equalized early in the second half, but Penn State asserted its dominance to pull away against the Seawolves.
Kris Shakes replaced Josh Levine in goal and made five saves in the 4-1 victory. Shakes made some key saves for Penn State throughout the game, most notably a save off of a header in the 39th minute from inside the box.
Daniel Gonzalez made an immediate impact off the bench, providing an assist to Christian Sload to take the 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.
Stony Brook equalized off a goal from Jarred Dass early in the second half but Penn State’s Alex Stevenson’s goal in the 54th minute and Aaron Molloy’s two second-half goals allowed the Nittany Lions to pull away.
Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game.
Aaron Molloy is Penn State’s engine
Molloy looked sharp from the start, whether it was pressuring high up the field, controlling the tempo or creating chances in the attack.
Molloy, as did his teammates, struggled with the pressure of the strong Stanford team in their opener, but managed to start the game off strong and looked like a different team from the start on Monday.
Molloy had a free kick from over 50 yards that hit off of the crossbar and into the net, but was disallowed due to it being an indirect free kick. However, he was able to get two of his own in the second half with a goal in the 63rd minute and a penalty in the 76th minute to cap off his night.
Molloy looked locked in in all aspects of the game and wasn’t afraid to test the young keeper from any distance.
Defense handled crosses more successfully
Penn State struggled with defending crosses against Stanford, but was much more efficient with winning those headers tonight.
Stony Brook had a few threatening chances, but Penn State did a well enough job of clearing the ball out of its own box.
With only two days off, it’s impressive to see the defense make an improvement in that part of their game
Freshmen show maturity early in the season
The freshman Stevenson had a few good overlapping runs down the wing to provide some attacking chances for Penn State throughout the game.
While Stony Brook is not one of the more difficult teams Penn State will face, it’s important for a young team like Penn State to get a win on the road, early in the season.
Despite giving up the equalizer early in the second half, the Nittany Lions kept their poise and kept the Stony Brook attack fairly quiet for the remainder of the game, as this could be a game Penn State looks back on as a momentum builder.
Penn State will head to Orlando, Florida on Friday, Sept. 6th for its matchup with UCF at 7 p.m.