By: Matylda Zamudio
Freedom, Pa. -- The Beaver men soared past New Kensington, defeating the team 9-3 for the day and securing a spot in the PSUAC Championship Game.
The Penn State Beaver men's soccer took on Penn State New Kensington for the PSUAC Semi-Finals on Saturday night. Having their post-season cut short last year after losing in the first round, the Beaver men were now only one game away, once again, from becoming contenders in the PSUAC Championship.
As the game began, Beaver's offense stormed the field, dribbling and driving past New Kensington's midfielders straight to their goal area. Only a little more than three minutes into the game, junior John Kazmierczyk fired and scored his second goal of the season on an assist by freshman Danylo Yakymov. The Beaver men didn't let up there as freshman Amsa Sanneh assisted senior Shelton Hilliard to score another goal and take an earlier 2-0 lead at the ninth minute. Then, just shy of the 11th minute, Yakymov found Kazmierczyk once again to score the third goal for Beaver (3-0). However, the Kensington men responded swiftly and smacked in a goal of their own a minute later (3-1). Beaver gained possession of the ball three minutes later, and freshman Williams Cruz knocked the fourth one back for Beaver (4-1). The offensive stayed hot and continued to dominate with possession of the ball as the first went on, overtaking New Kensington's defense for the latter portion of the period. With a top-notch performance from the defense, who didn't allow another goal by New Kensington, coupled with Yakymov (unassisted), freshman Kevin Colindres (assisted by Yakymov), and freshman David Palmer (unassisted) each scoring a goal to run the clock out on the first period, Beaver entered halftime with a comfortable 7-1 lead. In the second half, New Kensington didn't back down and scored an early goal at the 48th minute (7-2).
The game went scoreless for almost 20 minutes, as the teams exchanged possession back and forth. Then at the 67th minute, freshman Devin DiLuca scored his third goal of the season unassisted on the play to give Beaver a three-folded lead at 8-2 at the 67th minute. However, New Kensington kept hope alive, scoring the team's third goal of the night two minutes later (8-3). But Beaver's defense locked in and played solid for the next 20 minutes and thwarted New Kensington's efforts to score again. Then, Yakymov sealed the deal for Beaver with less than a minute left in the game, scoring his second goal for the night. Beaver defeated New Kensington 9-3.
Yakymov and Kazmierczyk headed the offense tonight contributing two goals each. On defense, Samuel Sharpless finished with two saves for the day.
After handling business by capturing Saturday's win, Beaver will go head-to-head for the 2018-2019 season title against the number one seed, Penn State Brandywine, in the PSUAC Championship Game on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.