Men's soccer shuts out Saint Francis, 1-0

University Park, Pa. -- The Penn State men's soccer team (2-3-0) peppered Saint Francis (0-3-1) with 23 shots but it was one off the foot of freshman defender Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.) that would prove decisive, as the Nittany Lions knocked off the regional rival Red Flash, 1-0, on Wednesday evening at Jeffrey Field.

Freshman midfielder MacKenzie Arment (Manheim, Pa.) initiated the scoring play in the 77th minute with a touch pass to senior forward Barkley Miller (New Freedom, Pa.). Positioned on the left wing, Miller dribbled up and to the middle of the field and then delivered a perfect through ball to Lee on the right wing. From 12 yards out, Lee's strike skipped past SFU goalkeeper Darius Motazed and into goal.

For Lee, the goal was the first of his career on just his third shot. Credited with assists on the play, Miller recorded his first point of the season and Arment staked his claim to the team lead with his second of 2008.

Penn State began much like it has in nearly every game this season -- in control and firing away. Within the first four minutes, header shots by sophomore forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) and junior defender Bobby Bohlen (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) threatened to give the Lions an early lead. That trend continued throughout the remainder of the first half, as Penn State built a 13-2 advantage in shots.

In the second half, Penn State continued to press the issue on offense with Miller, junior midfielder Frank Costigliola (Dix Hills, N.Y.), and sophomore midfielder Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.) earning scoring opportunities.

The Nittany Lions dodged a bullet with 16 minutes remaining in the game when SFU's Owen Gombani got behind the PSU defense and had a shot at an open goal. However, he was flagged offside, ending the threat.

Liam Fitzwater (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.) contributed another standout performance in goal for Penn State, recording three saves en route to his second career shutout. The redshirt sophomore preserved the scoreless tie in the 69th minute with a brilliant maneuver. In a one-on-one opportunity for Saint Francis' Taylor Powers, Fitzwater came out aggressively to meet him and punched the ball away with a diving stab before he could get a solid shot off.

Penn State continues to dominate its opponent in several offensive statistical categories. With a 23-5 shot advantage vs. Saint Francis, the Nittany Lions have outshot their opponents by a 102-37 margin in 2008. Penn State is also getting its scoring chances off of set pieces, as it has earned 31 corner kicks through five games. Last season, it totaled 63 for the entire 19-game season.

The Nittany Lions wrap up a four game home stand on Sat., Sept. 13 when James Madison visits Jeffrey Field for a 7 p.m. match-up. Penn State possesses a 1-2-0 record in the all-time series with the Dukes with their last meeting coming in 2005, a 2-1 James Madison win at the Virginia Tech Classic.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009