Lions take down New Kensington in PSUAC Semifinals

John V. fires at the net.
John V. fires at the net.

By: Matylda Zamudio

BEAVER FALLS, Pa.—The Penn State Beaver men's soccer team will advance to the next round of the PSUAC playoffs after defeating Penn State New Kensington in the conference semifinals on Saturday afternoon, 9-1. 

Beaver landed on the board first, thanks to freshman Mishael Garcia (Los Angeles/Alexander Hamilton), who netted two goals in the first eight minutes of the game (2-0). Four minutes later, senior John Valiga (Ambridge) drilled two goals in less than three minutes to build the Lions' lead to 5-0. Beaver controlled the tempo of the game for the remaining minutes of the period, as senior John Kazmierczyk (Conway/Quigley) added a goal at the 31st minute, followed by two late half goals from sophomore Danylo Yakymov (Kiev/Grand Private Lyceum) to give Beaver a 7-0 lead over New Kensington at halftime.

Beaver stayed aggressive on offense in the second half, with sophomore Kevin Colindres (West New York/Memorial) adding on a goal at the 56th minute, and senior Romaine Thompson (Philadelphia/Penn Wood) netting the ninth goal for Beaver at the 63rd minute. While the men of New Kensington managed to earn a goal in the final eight minutes of the game, they couldn't recover for the nine-goal deficit, giving the Lions a 9-1 win for the day.

Inside the box:

Garcia and Valiga led the offense, both scoring two goals apiece on four shots with three on goal, followed by Yakymov, who also contributed two goals on five shots with three on goal and one assist.

Thompson, Kazmierczyk and Colindres each contributed one goal apiece.

At the net, freshman Julian Hauff (Frederick/Governor Thomas Johnson) had three saves against the three SOG he faced before exiting the game after getting injured. Freshman Jake Saldivar (Darlington/Blackhawk) was at the net in the second period and had six saves against the seven SOG he faced.

Beaver outshot New Kensington 28-13 and 9-4 on corner kicks.

The Lions advance to the PSUAC Championship, where will face Penn State Brandywine at University Park on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.