Hazleton drops season opener to Delaware Valley, 4-2

Kyle Venditti fights for possesion.
Kyle Venditti fights for possesion.

Doylestown, PA - The Nittany Lion soccer team opened their season on Tuesday afternoon with a non-conference road trip to Delaware Valley University. The Aggies took a commanding lead over the Lions in the opening half and carried that momentum to a 4-2 victory over Penn State Hazleton.

Penn State Hazleton threatened early in the match with three corner kicks and four shots in the first eight minutes, but Delaware Valley took control in the 11th minute when Patrick McCarthy found Tim Szram for the opening goal from the left side of the box. The Aggies continued to pressure the Lions defense and during a three minute stretch in the middle of half number one, tacked on three goals from Alec Scarano, Max Drummond, and Sebastian Zambrano to push their advantage to 4-0 by the 26th minute. Hazleton responded late in the first half when former USCAA All-American Kyle Venditti picked a loose ball and fired a shot past goalie Austin Brotman to cut the lead to 4-1 in favor of Delaware Valley.  

The Lions held off the Aggie attack in the second half but controlled the ball for much of the game, firing 15 shots on goal to Hazleton's six scoring attempts. In the 67th minute, the Lions added a much needed goal from Steven Principe on a ball served up from Kyle Venditti and Laila Cabrera, cutting the score to 4-2. Hazleton goalkeeper James Fisher stopped 11 shots at the net and combined with his defenders to hold Delaware Valley scoreless in the final 64 minutes of actions, but the deficit proved to steep for the Lions to overcome.

Next up: Hazleton returns home to three days of rest before hitting the road for their next non-conference opponent. The Lions travel to SUNY Delhi on Saturday for a 1PM match.