Yet again, the ‘Cats have fallen prey to a strong Big Ten foe.
Northwestern (5-7-1, 1-3-1 B1G) flew to State College, PA to take on a surging Penn State (6-2-2, 3-1-1 B1G) squad on Saturday, but an overtime stunner from first-year Liam Butts ended Northwestern’s chance at an upset.
The ‘Cats did not start off on a strong foot. Defender Julian Zighelboim rashly took down Butts and was immediately sent off, setting Northwestern back to 10 men. The Nittany Lions pressed hard, but couldn’t capitalize on their advantage. Stout Northwestern defending frustrated Penn State, and Northwestern took the lead during the 49th minute off a defensive miscue. Matt Moderwell danced and stumbled between four Nittany Lion defenders before sliding a left footed strike past the keeper.
Penn State scored two quick goals in less than five minutes to reclaim the lead, but midfielder Mattias Tomasino’s free kick with four minutes remaining sent the game into overtime.
Butts’ decider clinched the match for Penn State. A long throw in to Aaron Molloy saw the midfielder rip a shot outside the box that keeper Miha Miskovic could only parry away. Butts pounced on the loose ball for the game-winning goal.
The statement win against Maryland seems like ages ago for the beleaguered ‘Cats. Although the ‘Cats offense returned and they played well after falling behind for the second game in a row, Penn State’s firepower proved too strong by the game’s end. Northwestern, reeling from four consecutive defeats, looks to bounce back against Aurora in an exhibiton on Monday, Oct. 14.