Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Men’s Soccer: No. 12 Northwestern suffers first defeat of season, falls to Penn State 2-1

Northwestern+huddles+together.+The+No.+12+Wildcats+surrendered+two+goals+in+the+second+half+in+their+first+defeat+of+the+season+Friday+against+Penn+State.
Daily file photo by Micah Sandy
Northwestern huddles together. The No. 12 Wildcats surrendered two goals in the second half in their first defeat of the season Friday against Penn State.

For No. 12 Northwestern, Friday’s road trip to Happy Valley marked the team’s first game outside of Illinois in two weeks. It also served as a momentous opportunity to take three points from Penn State, a squad which has bounced in and out of the United Soccer Coaches poll for much of the season and is also competing for the Big Ten regular season crown. 

Though the Wildcats (9-1-3, 3-1-1 Big Ten) were the first team on the board, it was the Nittany Lions (7-2-3, 3-1-1 Big Ten) who engineered a two-goal second-half comeback to hand coach Russell Payne’s crew their first loss of the season. 

Penn State was the aggressor early, testing graduate student goalkeeper Jackson Weyman with a pair of shots in the first 20 minutes. Weyman, who averages 3.3 saves per contest, was alert to both, keeping the game scoreless. Fifteen minutes later, NU broke the 0-0 deadlock, courtesy of none other than senior forward Justin Weiss.

In the 36th minute, junior defender Ibrahim Obeid found sophomore midfielder Jayvin Van Deventer in a pocket of space in the final third. Van Deventer promptly passed the ball to sophomore forward Christopher Thaggard, who took one touch to his right before rifling a pass to the feet of Weiss.

Sandwiched in between two Nittany Lion defenders, Weiss lifted a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Kris Shakes for the game’s opening tally. Weiss’ score was his seventh of the season, as he remains the Big Ten’s leader in points (21), goals (7) and assists (7).

Out of the intermission, Weiss tested Shakes once more, though the Penn State keeper made a diving effort to keep the former from his brace. Eleven minutes later, the Nittany Lions found the equalizer. 

Although Weyman was able to save the initial Penn State header, defender Femi Awodesu reacted quickly and nabbed a poacher’s goal to even the score, 1-1. Awodesu’s goal provided ample momentum for the hosts, as the Nittany Lions bagged the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.

Forward Peter Mangione capitalized on his team’s transition play and a couple fortunate ‘Cats deflections. His lunging left-foot poke found the back of the net, handing Penn State a 2-1 advantage –– a lead it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

NU returns to Evanston with a two-game homestand against No. 19 Michigan State and Indiana — both of which carry significant weight in the team’s quest for a conference title.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

Related Stories:

Men’s Soccer: Van Deventer leads No. 12 Northwestern in 2-0 win against Rutgers

Men’s Soccer: No. 12 Northwestern lacks urgency in 0-0 draw with Green Bay

Men’s Soccer: No. 16 Northwestern blanks Maryland 2-0, Payne nabs first regular season victory over alma mater

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