The No. 22 Rutgers men’s soccer team is now winless in three straight games after falling to Penn State 2-0 yesterday at Yurcak Field. After four Big Ten games, the Scarlet Knights (7-2-2, 1-2-1) have scored once, and not since late September.
After the first 45 minutes of play, Penn State held a 8-7 shot advantage as well as a 2-1 lead in shots on goal.
“It’s these little margins that separate you with very good teams,” said head men's soccer coach Jim McElderry after the game.
Rutgers held an advantage with the fact that the Nittany Lions were called for three yellow cards and eight fouls, compared to the Knights’ zero cards and four fouls.
Rutgers got the first shot on target of the second half in the 61st minute when junior midfielder Jackson Temple launched a low shot. Freshman midfielder Matthew Acosta took a shot in the 62nd on the right side. Temple added another shot in the 75th minute.
Three minutes later the Knights got as close as they came to scoring when senior midfielder Nick Cruz hit the crossbar. The thought of a comeback became dismal when Reedy capitalized on a penalty shot in the 82nd minute.
“I thought our guys were pretty good at midfield today. There were times where we took some of their good players out of the game,” McElderry said. “I thought we had a lot more possession in the second half.”
Temple, a midfielder, led Rutgers with three shots while fellow midfielder Acosta was second on the Knights with two shots. The pair had two and one shots on target, respectively.
Rutgers plays the second half of its homestand this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against Michigan State. The teams last faced off in the delayed season opener this past February. The Knights left East Lansing, Michigan with a 2-0 victory.
“Every game is a different game in the Big Ten,” McElderry said. “Michigan State (is) a good team, well-coached, super organized.”
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