The Penn State men’s soccer team’s hopes for a run at an NCAA title came to an end Sunday afternoon.
Syracuse used two second-half goals to rally past the Nittany Lions 2-1 at the SU Soccer Field in the NCAA second round.
“I thought Syracuse was by far the best team going forward in the attack that we’ve played against this year,” Penn State coach Bob Warming said. “They’re super talented.”
It sends the ninth-seeded Orange (16-3-1) to the NCAA quarterfinals for a meeting with No. 8 Georgetown next Sunday.
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Syracuse put relentless pressure on keeper Andrew Wolverton all day, and while the senior made a number of spectacular saves to keep his team in the game, and eight total stops, he and the Nittany Lion defense could not shut the Orange down for all 90 minutes.
“The thing you want for every senior that comes through your program,” Warming said, “is that they have an outstanding day on their last day they ever play for you and Andrew certainly had that. He was amazing.”
Warming said Wolverton has been playing the last three weeks with a broken foot.
Penn State (13-6-1) had taken the lead about 15 minutes into the second half when Conor Maloney buried a penalty kick after a Syracuse foul and yellow card in the box. It was the team-leading 10th goal of the season for the sophomore forward.
The lead lasted about 14 minutes until Emil Ekblom converted with his eighth score of the season.
About 10 minutes later, and with just 6:43 left on the clock, Oyvind Alseth put in the winner. Wolverton had the ball partially stopped but it just dribbled over the goal line.
The rough game was filled with 32 combined fouls, four yellow cards and a red card for Mikey Minutillo in the final minute.
Syracuse outshot Penn State 19-5, and Orange keeper Alex Bono did not make a save in the victory.