Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions saw their first action of the 2018 season at home on Saturday night, but were kept off the board by a talented Clarks Summit University squad. Sporting a new look, a new coaching staff and a new facility, Hazleton showed great resilience following a fast start by the Defenders who took home victory on Hazleton's home turf by the score of 0-3.
From start to finish, Hazleton was forced to play in their own end of the field as Clarks Summit dominated the time of possession and outshot the Lions by a wide margin. The Defenders reeled off five shots in a three minute stretch, converting two of those looks for scores by Jan Rodriguez and Hugh Hayner in the 10th and 13th minutes. With an early 2-0 advantage. Clarks Summit continued to press forward into Hazleton territory but the Nittany Lions excelled defensively following the following the early first half flurry.
Sophomore Jean-Louis Sunther Jr. (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) shined as the Lion's net-minder. The Hazleton keeper faced shot after shot from the Defender offense, but stood tall in goal to notch 32 saves against the powerful Clarks Summit attack. Sunther's only blemish after the 13th minute came late in the second half as Ethan Reed tacked on an insurance goal in the 85th minute to seal the Lions fate in their home opener.
With a game under their belt, the Nittany Lions will look build on a solid effort under Head Coach Gerry Linn. Hazleton will continue non-conference play on Tuesday, September 4 when they travel to Ramapo College to square off with Berkeley College of New Jersey. Kick-off set 3:30 p.m.