JMU roundup: Dukes tie 16th-ranked Nittany Lions

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – The James Madison University men’s soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw on Monday night against Penn State, the 16th-ranked team in the country.

With time in regulation winding down, freshman forward Joe Vyner volleyed a shot just inside the left post to tie the game at 1-1 in the 88th minute.

Vyner’s goal was his second of the 2014 season and the first Penn State (3-0-1) has allowed this year.

At the time of the goal, Penn State was playing with nine men after two red cards had been issued. The first card came against goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton in the 54th minute. With James Madison pushing up the field, Wolverton came out to contest a bouncing ball halfway between midfield and the penalty area. A kicked ball in the direction of the goal hit Wolverton’s hands, for which he was issued the card.

The second red card was issued for yellow card accumulation in the 78th minute to Mark Wadid. The sophomore forward took down JMU senior forward Josh Grant in the box and the Dukes were issued a penalty kick. Grant stepped up to take the kick and fired low near the left post, but Penn State backup goalkeeper Evan Finney guessed right and made the save to keep the Nittany Lions up 1-0.

Wadid received his first yellow card of the match just three minutes earlier in the 75th minute.

The best chance of the overtime session for either team to end the game came in the 99th minute near the end of the first extra period. JMU pushed the ball into the Penn State penalty area where junior midfielder Michael Russo took a shot, but his attempt was blocked. The ball again bounced out to Vyner, this time on the top-right side of the box. Vyner’s seeing-eye shot weaved its way through multiple defenders and ultimately rang off the left post. The rebound bounced out to senior midfielder Jonathan Barden, but his shot was saved by Finney to end the threat.

The Dukes were forced to chase the game most of the way after Penn State got on the board early in the 11th minute of play. Connor Maloney put his fourth goal of the season home after a header from Mikey Minutillo deflected off the crossbar. The ball bounced straight back down to a waiting Maloney to put the Nittany Lions up 1-0.

JMU goes on the road this weekend with two matches in Nashville, Tenn. First, the Dukes will take on Belmont at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12. JMU will finish the Nashville trip Sept. 13 with a match against Lipscomb. That game is set for noon.