Hazleton takes second straight stalemate as PSUAC season begins

Javain Baker dribbles the ball out of the defensive zone.
Javain Baker dribbles the ball out of the defensive zone.

McKeesport, Pa. - For the second straight outing, the Nittany Lions were forced to settle for a tie. Hazleton opened up Penn State University Athletic Conference play on Friday afternoon with a long road trip to Greater Allegheny for what turned out to a 110 minute affair ending in gridlock with the score 2-2.

The Lions drew first blood just moments into the game with junior Aaron Wrobleski (Mountain Top, Pa.) continuing to cause havoc opposing defenses. Wrobleski dribbled past several defenders to get a look and drilled a shot in the back of the net to put the Lions up 1-0 in the sixth minute of action. Hazleton would strike again in the 36th minute when freshman Ethan Decker (Nanticoke, Pa.) fought off flurry of defenders inside the Greater Allegheny 18, tucking past the keeper for his first goal of the season, extending the cushion to two goals prior to the break. 

Things were looking good for the Nittany Lions but for the second time in three games this season, Hazleton would surrender a first half lead early into the second period. It took Greater Allegheny just six minutes to make it a game, cutting the deficit to one goal following a tally by Dario Marina. Later in the 64th minute, Greater Allegheny knotted the game at 2-2 with after Namy Makiese got separation from the Hazleton defense and made good on a one on one opportunity against Hazleton keeper, senior Jacob Pryma (Coatesville, Pa.).

It would take 45 more minutes to determine the final outcome, but after two overtime periods the game was at an impasse and declared a draw. In the end it was a relatively even match all the way around. Greater Allegheny out-shot Hazleton 20-15 on the day, getting nine shots on target compared to seven for Hazleton while Hazleton earned a slight edge in corner kick tries with four chances and the home squad with three opportunities. Pryma would come up with seven saves on the day, surviving a boot to the head midway through the match to remain undefeated in his second outing as the Hazleton netminder. 

Next up: Hazleton's record moves to 0-1-2 on the young season and 0-0-1 in the conference. The Lions will remain on the road next week when they travel to southern Pennsylvania to face Penn State York on Wednesday, September 18 for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff.