By: Matylda Zamudio
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—The Penn State Beaver men's soccer team face off in the highly-anticipated rematch against the No. 1 seeded Penn State Brandywine for the Penn State University Athletic Conference Championship at Rec Hall on Wednesday night. The Lions lost in the close contest 3-2.
The teams were evenly matched in the first period, with both teams attacking each other's box. Despite Beaver not putting on points on the board, PSUAC All-Conference second-team freshman Grigorios Papachristos (Athens/Valley Christian), who was at the net for Beaver, was able to thwart Brandywine from scoring as well with five saves in the first to end the half 0-0.
The game then came down to the second period. It was Brandywine that struck the first blow by scoring a goal at the 62nd minute. But Beaver didn't stay down for long as PSUAC Player of the Year and PSUAC All-Conference first-team sophomore Danylo Yakymov (Kiev/Grand Private Lyceum) fed the ball to senior John Valiga (Ambridge), who converted on the pass to tie the game at 1-1. Then at the 71-minute mark, Beaver took the lead after Yakymov drilled in an unassisted goal (2-1). But the Brandywine men answered back seven minutes later with a goal of their own to tie the game again at 2-2 and then went scored another goal less than three minutes later to take back the lead at 3-2. Yakymov tried to take back the lead for Beaver two minutes later as he fired a shot at the net but was saved by Brandywine's goaltender, and the Lions ultimately fell 3-2.
Inside the box:
Yakymov led the offense, netting one goal on five shots with five on goal and one assist, followed by Valiga, who also contributed one goal on two shots with two on goal.
At the net, Papachristos had seven saves against the 10 SOG he faced.
Despite the final outcome of the game, the Lions had a great run this season, finishing in second in the PSUAC rankings with an 8-1 record and a 13-5 overall record for the season. But the Lions' season isn't over yet, as the team will face off against Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte in the USCAA Division II Soccer National Championship tournament in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sunday, Nov. 10. The game is slated for 2:15 p.m.