PSU Abington roars to a strong start
|Senior Matt Howard has five goals this season PSU Abington Athletics|
After another win and with a 7-0 record, the Penn State-Abington Nittany Lions are cruising. And with a conference record of 5-0, Abington sits at the top of the NEAC standings.
Located in Abington, PA (a suburb of Philadelphia), the Nittany Lions are off to their strongest start since the program started in the 1968-69 season.
With that kind of momentum, the men's team could have easily overlooked Mondays match against Lancaster Bible College. Facing a down-on-their-luck Chargers squad and looking forward to their match later in the week against Cazenovia, the only other undefeated NEAC side, all the pieces were in place for an upset.
Fortunately for the men in white, an upset just wasn't in the cards.
After twenty minutes of offensive control, PSU-Abington finally punched one across the line on a goal by senior Matt Howard. His volley off an assist by sophomore Alex Martins just got by the diving senior Chargers keeper Tim Landis for the 1-0 lead.
Yet the Chargers would not be easily put away. After a run of play that saw the Nittany Lions fire off four more shots in the span of a minute and a half, Lancaster Bible broke out of their own end with a long ball down the left sideline. Sophomore Miles Herron grabbed control of the ball deep in the offensive zone and sent a cross into the box. Freshman Bradley Wilcox was waiting above the near post and sent a one-time volley on net. The volley was redirected off a Nittany Lions defender and got past freshman goalkeeper James Carlin for the equalizer.
It wasn't until 10 minutes had ticked off the clock in the second half that the Nittany Lions would break through the Chargers strong defense and open up their lead. After getting by several Charger defenders, Martins beat Landis for the game-winner. Minutes later, senior Joshua Clinger converted off a Charger turnover for the 3-1 lead. Martins then finished off the scoring with his second goal of the match off a corner kick by senior Julian Ward.
With the victory and the momentum, the Nittany Lions now look to extend their streak as they hit the road for Cazenovia for a Saturday NEAC conference match. The Wildcats sit currently at 3-0 in NEAC play. A victory for Abington not only continues their streak, but puts the team into firm control of first place in the conference. Gametime is set for 3:00 p.m.
By PSU-Abington Assistant SID Travis Galaska