Oct. 31, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) netted a golden goal 4 minutes and 57 seconds into overtime to provide the Penn State men's soccer team (6-8-3) with a 1-0 victory over Villanova (10-8-0) on Wednesday evening at Jeffrey Field.
After receiving a pass on the right wing from fellow freshman Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.), Gelsinger pushed to his right past a defender and sent a low, lining strike to the far post from 10 yards out that slipped past Wildcat goalkeeper Jason Friel and into net. For Gelsinger, the goal was his third of the year and upped his point total to 11, good enough for second on the team. Cost tallied his third assist of the season on the play and represented his third point in the last three games and fifth of his rookie campaign.
Penn State controlled the game in terms of time of possession and controlling pace, partially evident by its 18-6 advantage in shots. Sophomore midfielder Frank Costigliola led the Lions with four total shots while Cost, Jacobo Vera (Pamplona, Spain), and Vincent Salvatico (Chester Springs, Pa.) each recorded two shots on goal.
The Nittany Lion defense, which has suffered continuity problems all season due to a plague of injuries to key back line players, put together, perhaps, its finest effort of the season versus the Wildcats. It held Villanova without a shot on goal for the game's first 85-plus minutes and to just one for the entire contest.
Supported by that suffocating Penn State defense, senior goalkeeper Conrad Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) recorded his second shutout of the year and the 23rd of his Penn State career. He now is just one shy of tying Dan Gallagher for second place on the Nittany Lion career shutouts list.
The Nittany Lions have made overtime contests a habit at home this season, as tonight's match-up with Villanova marks the fifth game that has gone past regulation. They are 3-0-2 in those games, including last-minute double overtime wins over Ivy League foes Pennsylvania and Cornell. Gelsinger's score represents the second straight overtime game winner netted by a freshman, as midfielder Drew Cost registered a golden goal in Penn State's victory over Cornell on Oct. 23. Penn State's last seven points have been notched by freshmen.
Villanova dropped its second consecutive 1-0 overtime game, having fallen by the same margin on Saturday night at Cincinnati. The Wildcats, who have clinced a BIG EAST Tournament berth, return home to the Villanova Soccer Complex on Saturday to face Louisville at 1:00 p.m. Seniors Matt Sleece, Jason Friel, Neil McNulty, Mike Del Guercio, John Ward and Billy Whiteside will be honored in pre-game ceremonies.