MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg used two second half goals to pull away from Mt. Aloysius en route to a 3-1 victory in the Lions' 2014 home opener on Wednesday night, Sep. 3. Freshman Matthew Vaz (Port Jeff, N.Y. / Ward Melville) put the Blue & White on the board first, sophomore captain Malik Cameron (Bronx, N.Y. / Cardinal Spellman) netted the game winner and junior Jimmy Bilger (Slatington, Pa. / Northern Lehigh) put the game out of reach in the final minutes.
"I am very proud of the lads' performance tonight," said Penn State Harrisburg head coach Seamus Donnelly. "That was a very physical challenge and it is not the type of game we try to play here. We had to earn the right to play our game and I think we did that."
Vaz, playing in just his second collegiate game, put the Lions ahead late in the first half when he made a great move to his left and struck a ball into the upper half of the Mounties' goal from 20 yards out in the game's 41st minute.
The visitors evened things up 12 minutes into the second half when Kevin Ouellette headed home a shot off an assist from Xavier Cardona.
When presented with a golden opportunity nearly 20 minutes later, Penn State Harrisburg took full advantage as freshman Victor Weaver (Gap, Pa. / Pequea Valley) found Cameron off a corner kick from the left side. Cameron made the finish in traffic and gave the Lions' a 2-1 advantage in the 76th minute.
Bilger capped the scoring when he gathered a loose ball in the Mounties' half of the field, shook loose of a defender and fired a tremendous shot that found the right side of the net in the 84th minute, ending any threat of a late-game Mt. Aloysius equalizer.
Physical play was the name of the game on this night as the two teams combined for five yellow cards and 28 total fouls. The Lions outshot the visitors 14-1 and took control in the game's final 15 minutes thanks to four shots and two scores in a ten minute span. Despite allowing a score, Penn State Harrisburg goalkeeper Brandon Hoover (Lancaster, Pa. / Pequea Valley) made plays when he needed to and notched his second win of the season.
"We defended very well as we always do," said Donnelly. We passed the ball as we as we ever have and we looked dangerous in the final third. Still very much a work in progress but so far I'm very happy."
Penn State Harrisburg will look to remain unbeaten when the Lions travel to Delaware Valley for their next outing on Saturday afternoon, Sep. 6.
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