Penn State men’s soccer earns hard-fought victory over No. 18 West Virginia

Last season West Virginia beat Penn State 3-1, so Penn State took the field looking to get revenge on Friday night.

The Nittany Lions did just that, winning their first match of the 2022 season by a score of 3-2.

However, the first half of the match was very back and forth between the blue and white and the visiting Mountaineers.

West Virginia got the scoring started 20 minutes into the match after creating multiple scoring opportunities against Penn State goalkeeper Kris Shakes.

The Nittany Lions answered with a goal in the final minutes of the opening frame, tying the score at 1-1 going into the second half of the game.

Coming out of halftime, Penn State created many more opportunities to find the back of the net against West Virginia.

10 minutes into the second half Shakes faced a tough play, when a shot by the Mountaineers hit the post and then went in on the rebound.

A few minutes later, Penn State took the lead with a penalty kick goal by Peter Mangione, and the score would remain 3-2 through the final whistle.

Midfielder/forward Peter Mangione (8) celebrates his goal during the Penn State men’s soccer B1G quarterfinal game against Michigan State at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions beat The Spartans 2-0.

Clean slate

With just two minutes left of the first half Peter Mangione scored to tie up the match, giving Penn State a fresh start to the game.

This was the blue and white’s second attempt taking a shot against West Virginia’s goalkeeper, and they were able to find the back of the net.

Penn State’s offensive line worked a lot faster and created a lot more opportunities. The team appeared rushed during the first half but played with a lot more composure during the second half.

With 15 minutes left of the match, Liam Butts tied up the match 2-2 for the Nittany Lions.

Defense prevails

This was a very strong defensive game for Penn State, as Shakes faced five shots at the end of the first half.

The whole defensive unit stepped it up and made great plays against West Virginia including Tyger Evans, Sean Bettenhausen and Jalen Watson.

Defender Femi Awodesu also came up big. Penn State’s offense was having trouble creating opportunities, so Awodesu took charge and attempted the first shot against the Mountaineers during the first half.

The Mountaineers almost scored another goal, but Shakes used his skills to make another stop.

With under 10 minutes left Evans had a fast break but was tripped up by a Mountaineer. Penn State was awarded a penalty kick.

Mangione took the shot and scored, taking the lead of the game.

Aggressive play

Throughout the first half of the match, many players went to the ground with injuries.

The violence started early, with one West Virginia player getting hurt three minutes into the match.

Nittany Lion Andrew Privett received multiple fouls for pushing Mountaineer players.

Later on in the half, Penn State’s Seth Kuhn and Sean Bettenhausen were injured as well.

During the second half Privett received a yellow card after arguing with the referee and slide-tackling a Mountaineer.

As the clock counted down during the second half, the game got more aggressive for both teams.

Towards the end of the match West Virginia was given a red card as well as another yellow card after kicking Shakes.

By the end of the game the blue and white totaled seven fouls and West Virginia totaled 11.


It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing so far for Penn State to start the 2022 season.

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