Men's Soccer finishes level with PSU Greater Allegheny in 2OT thriller

Penn State Hazleton's Diego Mendoza (6) takes a shot on goal.
Penn State Hazleton's Diego Mendoza (6) takes a shot on goal.

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Steven Principe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) added his ninth goal of the season as Penn State Hazleton tied Penn State Greater Allegheny, 2-2, in a Penn State University Athletic Conference men's soccer game on Sunday. It is the first tie of the season for Hazleton, moving them to 4-5-1 on the season, including a 3-4-1 mark in PSUAC play.

The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead but could not hold the lead as Greater Allegheny (3-7-2, 2-3-2 PSUAC) scored twice in the final 22 minutes of regulation, including a goal with just under two minutes to play, to force the extra periods. Neither team could find the net during the sudden victory periods as they jockeyed for PSUAC playoff positioning. Hazleton currently sits in fifth place, with Greater Allegheny just behind them in sixth. The PSUAC playoffs include the top six teams in the conference.

Principe opened up the scoring in the 21st minute, taking a pass from Ryan Johnson (Drexel Hill, Pa.) to make it 1-0. The assist is Johnson's first of the year. The score remained in place for another 45 minutes until Ryan Lieb (Yardley, Pa.) finished off a loose ball just in front of the net after the Greater Allegheny goalkeeper fumbled a ball and a scrum ensued. Principe was denied on two occasions during the play, as Greater Allegheny defenders rushed to aid their keeper, who had fallen off to the side of the goal after losing possession. The ball became loose after bouncing around and Lieb softly rolled it just across the goal line for a 2-0 Hazleton lead.

Greater Allegheny answered quickly, taking advantage of an obstruction call in the penalty area three minutes later and turning the free kick into a crossing opportunity, and ultimately a goal by Marin Marina. The score remained 2-1 until the 88th minute when Marina beat Logan Yacowatz (Sugarloaf, Pa.) nearside to level to score, 2-2.

Both teams squandered scoring opportunities in the two overtime periods, with both Yacowatz and Greater Allegheny's Gabriel Medina making several key saves to keep the score knotted at 2-2.

Hazleton meets Davis College at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8 in non-conference action before resuming their playoff push on Friday, October 10 when they host Penn State Brandywine at 4:00 p.m. in a make-up from Saturday's rainout.