Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions picked up their second win of the weekend on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Penn State New Kensington. The Lions dominated the time of possession in this one, but that effort failed to translate into points on the scoreboard, leading to a tight battle with their western Penn State University Athletic Conference foe. Junior Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.) drew first blood for the Nittany Lions in the 25th minute with his third goal in two games but Hazleton would spend the next 50 minutes nursing a one score cushion until a clutch header from Gabe Gaertner knotted the game at 1-1. New Kensington seemed to be wearing down the Hazleton defense but the Lions seized back the momentum with just over ten minutes to play. Sophomore Moussa Diouf (Carteret, Nj.) would break Hazleton's 55 minute scoring drought with a clutch header sent into the net off a free kick from Pasukinis that vaulted Hazleton to the victory.
Moments that Mattered
Patience pays off for New Kensington
Despite a wide margin in shot attempts and corner kicks, New Kensington was content to allow Hazleton to expend energy running up and down the field. Although the Lions frequently threatened to score, New Kensington offered up a stout defensive effort in their own 18 combined with fine goalkeeper play from Joshua Zakrzewski who kept the New Kensington squad within striking distance. That strategy paid off late in the game when a quality look presented itself for the visitors. Mitchell Kuczynski tossed in a long throw in from the right sideline finding Gaertner deep in the Hazleton 18. Gaertner's header drifted over the outstretched arms of the Hazleton keeper to tie the game on just the seventh shot attempt of the game for the visitors.
Persistance key for Diouf
Moussa Diouf's play on Sunday was a microcosm of the Lion's offensive efforts against New Kensington. Diouf had six shots, four of which were on target leading into the final stages of play but eventually the sophomore's efforts paid off. Shot seven of the day proved to be the difference maker in the 80th minute just moments after Hazleton lost its advantage. Pasukinis would loft a free kick from the right side of the field into the New Kensington box finding Diouf in the middle of a sea of players. The sophomore leapt in the air, heading the ball to the bottom right corner for what would be the game winning score, proving that with enough hard work, good things will happen.
Hazleton continues an action packed stretch of five games in eight days with a non-conference bout on Tuesday. The Lions will take on Lackawanna College on September 26 at Community Park with kick off slated for 4:00 p.m.