Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions spotted Lackawanna County Community College a two goal lead in the first four minutes of action on Tuesday afternoon, forcing Hazleton to give chase throughout a hard fought contest. Hazleton would claw their way back into the game earning several late chances to tie the match but failed to knot the score as Lackwanna earned the win in wire to wire fashion by the score of 4-3.
The Lions bounced back after the two early mishaps, cutting the Lackawanna lead back to one score as sophomore keeper Brandon Yocum (Bloomsburg, Pa.) sent a long punt from the edge of his own 18 deep into Falcon territory. Yocum's kick took two large hops, bounding over the Falcon goalie and sophomore Moussa Diouf (Carteret, Nj.) swooped in to head the ball into the net. Lackawanna would carry a one goal advantage into the second half, but with just over 28 minutes to play, Montel James would dribble past several Hazleton defenders to notch his second score of the afternoon and extend the Falcon lead back to two goals. Hazleton would cut the lead back to a one goal deficit with 16:21 left in regulation and nearly tie the score with a pair of quality looks under ten minutes, but both shots sailed wide resulting in the 4-3 defeat.
Moments that Mattered
Falcons control the tempo
Lackawanna used its speed and ball control skills to keep Hazleton on their heels in the first half. The Falcons kept the ball in the Hazleton zone earning eight first half corner kicks and peppering seven shots on goal in the opening period.
Lions remain resilient
The Lions looked better and better as the game progressed, neutralizing the time of possesion deficit in the second half. With 20 minutes remaining, Hazleton gained momemtum culminating in sophomore Jason Klusewitz's (Mountain Top, Pa.) goal in the 74th minute. Sophomore Sohail Ahmedshaker (Brooklyn, Ny.) delivered a fine cross into the Lackwanna box allowing Klusewitz to flick the ball backwards past the Falcon keeper for the score. Hazleton kept the pressure on until the final horn but the early deficit proved too much to overcome.
Hazleton continues a difficult stretch of games on Wednesday when they resume conference play. The Lions will hit the road, heading the Penn State Wilkes-Barre for a 4:00 p.m. kick off as they look to get back on track.