Penn State surprises No. 24 Northwestern in double-overtime win
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- On a sunny Sunday in Evanston, Ill., Penn State spoiled Northwestern's Senior Day with a 1-0 victory in double overtime. Hasani Sinclair's 104th-minute goal gave Penn State (9-4-2, 3-1-1 B1G) its ninth victory of the season, while dropping the Wildcats to 10-3-2 (3-1-0 B1G).
The loss marked the first in Big Ten play for Northwestern since Nov. 11, 2010, when Penn State tallied a 3-1 win in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
"Northwestern has been undefeated in our conference for the last two years," Bob Warming, Penn State head coach, said after the contest. "They deserved all those wins and [Sunday] it took outstanding performances from our guys to pull off the win. I couldn't be prouder of them right now."
With the win against Northwestern, Penn State finishes the 2012 season undefeated on the road in Big Ten action with a 2-0-1 record, the first time it has done so since finishing 6-0-0 in the conference in 2005.
After 103 minutes of scoreless play, Sinclair took control of a bouncing ball from a rebound off Daniel Parr's shot just yards from the Northwestern goal and blasted a shot off his left foot and behind NU keeper Tyler Miller to clinch the victory for the Nittany Lions with his first goal of the season. The shot on goal was just the second of the day for Penn State, as the Wildcat defense stifled many runs near the penalty area.
The victory is the first for the Blue and White in overtime this season. Goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton kept the Lions in the mix with a season-high five saves while holding back the potent Wildcat attack for his third shutout of the autumn. Northwestern posted a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks, with three in both regulation halves.
Wolverton was helped in the second half by senior Brian Forgue, who blocked a shot on an open net for the second time this season, the first against Michigan Oct. 6.
The Penn State defense fought off an efficient Wildcat attack in the opening 20 minutes, facing six shots, including four against Wolverton on goal. Northwestern accumulated a 13-4 shot advantage in regulation, before the Nittany Lions edged out a 3-2 lead in the two overtime periods.
The Lions had some early success from Drew Klingenberg's crosses from the left wing, as the freshman's attempts narrowly missed teammates in the box. Penn State's first shot on goal came from Daniel Parr as the first half expired. Seven different Nittany Lions recorded shots, although none had more than one attempt.