Tulsa 1, Penn State 1 (4-3 PKs)


 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (Nov. 23, 2004) - The 12th-ranked Penn State men's soccer team's season came to a disappointing end as Tulsa advanced on penalty kicks (4-3) to eliminate the Nittany Lions in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Tuesday at Jeffrey Field.

Sophomore Simon Omekanda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) scored at 53 minutes, 25 seconds to knot the game at 1-1, which is where it ended after regulations and two 10-minute overtime sessions.

Each team made their first two penalty kick attempts, with Penn State getting the first chance. But the Nittany Lions missed their third and fifth shots, while the Golden Hurricane made all four of their chances to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament for the first time in school history.

"The guys played well," said Penn State head coach Barry Gorman. "We shot ourselves in the foot with their first goal and then we got a man sent off and it was a crap shoot from there. I thought we were the better team tonight."

The Nittany Lions outshot Tulsa 23-11 in the game, but goalkeeper Dominic Cervi stopped a season-high seven shots to record the victory.

Junior All-American Ryan Pore gave Tulsa, which is 11-6-4, a 1-0 lead at 31:03 after a Penn State midfielder played a ball back to freshman goalkeeper Conrad Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Taylor came out, but Pore beat him to the ball and made a nice move to get an open shot at the net.

The Nittany Lions had their chances throughout the game, but either missed, hit the crossbar or Cervi made a great save. The game was physical throughout with eight yellow cards being issued.

Freshman defender Stephen Reihner had the Nittany Lions' first good chance. He beat two defenders to get a clean shot at the net at 17:42. He aimed for the lower left corner, but Cervi made a diving stop. Senior Chad Severs (Ocean City, N.J.) got a head on a ball, but it hit the crossbar at 23:38.

Freshman Richard Costanzo (Jefferson Hills, Pa.) took a shot from 12 yards out at 52:36 that Cervi made another diving save on.

Penn State's pressure finally paid off after senior Anthony Calvano (Haymarket, Va.) played a pass to junior midfielder David Walters (Hunlock Creek, Pa.) just shy of midfield. Walters played a beautiful pass to Omekanda, who beat two defenders for a one-on-one with Cervi. Omekanda took a shot from about 12 yards out that deflected off Cervi and into the lower right corner to tie the game at 1-1 at 53:25.

With 19:20 remaining in the contest senior defender Pasi Karppinen (Pirkkala, Finland) tackled Pore at midfield. Karppinen was assessed his second yellow card of the game, ejecting him from the contest.

But playing a man down didn't stop the Penn State attack. Junior midfielder Brian Devlin (Philadelphia, Pa.) just missed scoring as Cervi made a leaping save with 13:18 left. Sophomore Jeff Chambers (Christiana, Pa.) had a shot blocked by a Tulsa defender that was heading for an open net with 6:01 left, and Walters hit the crossbar off a header with 4:13 remaining.

"It's frustrating," Devlin said. "That's how the game goes. We hit four off the post."

The Nittany Lions had four shots against just one in the extra period, with Walters missing just high at the beginning of the second overtime.

"Their kids deserve credit for continuing to apply pressure when they were a man down," said Tulsa head coach Tom McIntosh.


-- Courtesy Penn State