Late penalty kick vaults No. 16 Hazleton past Greater Allegheny

Mike Principe makes a run on offense.
Mike Principe makes a run on offense.

Mckeesport, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton (8-3, 6-2 PSUAC) broke a 1-1 stalemate late in the action at PSU Greater Allegheny (6-4, 3-4 PSUAC) to earn their sixth victory in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and secure themselves a second consecutive post-season berth.

Greater Allegheny got on top first in the 24th minute of play when Gerardo Diaz Perez found Ricardo Dip who scored from 30 yards away, taking a 1-0 advantage. The Lions responded in the 38th minute when sophomore Gabriel Opoku-Akoto's (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) header found the red hot foot of junior Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.). Venditti took the ball and tucked it past the goalie to knot the score at one a piece.

Attrition ensued throughout much of the second half with neither team able to capitalize on opportunities. With six minutes remaining in regulation the Lions would break through when a handball violation in the box by Greater Allegheny gave Kyle Venditti a one on one matchup with the keeper. Venditti shot the penalty kick middle-right, fooling the goalie and securing the 2-1 victory for Hazleton.

Greater Allegheny managed seven shots on target, but were stymied much of the day by sophomore goalkeeper Jimmy Fisher (Glen Allen, Va.). The Lions totaled 12 shots on goal including Venditti's pair of scores. The junior forward tallies his fourth multi-score game on the season, adding his 11th and 12th goals of 2015.

Next up: The Nittany Lions travel back to Hazleton Saturday night, then it's back to the pitch for more soccer action on Sunday. The Lions face off with Berkely College of New Jersey Sunday afternoon at High Acres with a 1:00 p.m. start time.