Hazleton, Pa. - A lone goal that trickled in off the post was all the scoring that Delaware Valley University would need as they topped the Nittany Lions 1-0 on Saturday at Hazleton Area High School. Hazleton made a number of good offensive runs, particularly in the second half, but luck was not on the Lion's side as shots sailed wide or found the mitts of the Aggie keeper.
The Aggies and Lions went back and forth in the first half with Delaware Valley gaining a slight edge in possession throughout the opening period. Hazleton packed in the defense to survive six first half corner kicks by the Aggies, but a brief mis-communication in the Lion's backfield proved to be the difference in the game. A through ball by Delaware Valley's Austin Daniels pulled Hazleton's freshman keeper Brandon Yocum (Bloomsburg, Pa.) out from goal for what appeared to be a routine pick up, but a hustling Aggie was left unmarked by the Lion's backfield. Delware Valley's Nick Miller charged the ball, beating Yocum to the spot and got just enough on the ball to send it towards the target. Unable to recover, Yocum and the Lions defense could only watch as the ball trickled off the right post and crossed the line for the game's first and only score of the game.
Up and down play continued in the second period though Hazleton garnered bulk of offensive attacks in the final half. The Lions had a handful of excellent chances to tie the game, but Aggie goaltender Conner Hedgepeth routinely cut off the Hazleton angle of attack, forcing shots to be played directly at the keeper or wide of target. The Aggies nearly put the game out of reach with six minutes remaining on a penalty kick, but the sure handed Yocum made a big stop for Hazleton, sending the Lions back on the attack. Hazleton had one good run left in them and freshman Jason Klusewitz (Mountain Top, Pa.) sent a fine pass into the opponents box off a corner kick, but a fine defensive play stopped junior Michael Principe's (jim Thorpe, Pa.) shot allowing the Aggies to clear the ball and kill the clock.
Delaware Valley keeper Conner Hedgepeth saved five of five Nittany Lion shots on target to earn the shut out victory for the Aggies. Teammate Nick Miller supplied the contest's only score with assist coming from Daniels.
Yocum saved six of seven shots on goal by the Aggie offense, allowing the lone goal in the first half. Senior Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.) had three shot attempts on goal, with sophomore Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.) sending in two shots on target to lead the Hazleton attack effort.
The Nittany Lions are back in action in the Penn State University Athletic Conference on Wednesday, September 28 at Community Park in Hazleton, Pa. The Lions will look to get back in the win column on that day when Penn State Wilkes-Barre comes to town for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff.