Men's Soccer vs. Northwestern

Forward Danny Bloyou (6) and midfielder Andrew Privett (6) take possession of the ball from opposing midfielder Rom Brown during the Penn State men's soccer game against Northwestern at Jeffrey Fields Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Penn State beat Northwestern 2-1. 

Penn State continued its recent dominance over Rutgers with its win on Tuesday night, while also picking up its first win of the season against a ranked opponent.

The Nittany Lions defeated the Scarlet Knights by a score of 2-0 to earn their third Big Ten victory of the season and remain undefeated in Big Ten play.

As the first half progressed, the blue and white began to take control of the game, constantly controlling possession and applying pressure on the Rutgers defense.

It was appearing as if a scoreless first half was imminent until senior forward Danny Bloyou scored a beautiful goal off a cross from senior midfielder Pierre Reedy in the 39th minute.

Things began to get chippy at the end of the first half, as players from the two teams had words for each other following a very physical first half.

The squads combined for a total of 12 fouls in the first 45 minutes.

In the second half, Penn State junior goalkeeper Kris Shakes was forced to make some acrobatic saves to keep the Scarlet Knights off the board.

The Nittany Lions had a few chances to take a commanding two goal lead but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities until a penalty kick was converted late in the second half by Reedy.

The goal by Reedy essentially put the game on ice as the blue and white took a two goal advantage with less than ten to play.

Here are three takeaways from Penn State’s 2-0 win over Rutgers.

Bloyou stays hot

Bloyou has now scored in consecutive games for Penn State after scoring what was eventually the game-winning goal against Michigan State in East Lansing.

The senior started the year off slowly, only scoring one goal in the team’s first eight games.

He even fell out of the starting lineup for a stretch of games, as head coach Jeff Cook gave soaring junior forward Liam Butts the nod.

Being such a crucial part of the team’s dynamic offensive attack, Bloyou’s progression this season is pivotal for the Nittany Lions, should they make a run for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Bloyou was the team’s leading goal scorer in 2020 with eight goals. Should his level of play reach the level it was then, the blue and white is in for an offensive outbreak.

Back-to-back road wins

After defeating the Michigan State Spartans in their home territory on Friday, Penn State repeated this challenge by knocking off No. 22 Rutgers on the road.

The win marks the first time this season that the Nittany Lions have won consecutive road games.

Before these wins, the blue and white had struggled on the road, notching an away record of 1-2.

With half of Penn State’s remaining games coming on the road, the team must maintain a strong road performance if they wish to grab a top seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Some critical upcoming road games for the Nittany Lions include Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Defense remains strong

The experienced Penn State defense is coming into its own at the right time for the Nittany Lions.

In the team’s past eight games, only five goals have been allowed. Additionally, in none of those games has the team allowed more than two goals.

The hot streak includes three shutouts, one of which was attributed to backup sophomore goalkeeper Owen Elliott.

The strong defensive outings of late show not only the team’s all around skill but depth as well, considering the team usually rotates fresh legs onto the pitch constantly.

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