The Berkeley College New Jersey men's soccer team kicked off its 2019 season with a solid victory on Friday afternoon, defeating the Nittany Lions of Penn State Beaver by a score of 3-2 at Wright Field at Veterans Park in Beaver Falls, PA. With the win, the Knights have now won 13 of their 15 regular season games against Penn State schools.
In what was a back-and-forth opening half of soccer, the Knights lit up the scoreboard early, as standout Robins Etienne netted a goal just 63 seconds in. Jordan Bailey registered the assist on the play, and Berkeley held an early 1-0 lead. Just 3:29 later, though, Penn State Brandywine would tie the game as John Valiga would notch an unassisted goal to tie the game at a goal apiece.
The teams played very physical soccer over the ensuing 28 minutes, but neither team was able to score the go-ahead goal. Finally, at the 32:23 mark, Berkeley's Matheo Faccin would blast a shot into the net to give the Knights a 2-1 edge. However, on the very next play, Mishael Garcia would score the equalizer, making it 2-2. That's the way the score would stay as the teams broke for halftime.
In the second session, the Knights took the lead for good in the 63rd minute (62:06) when Etienne would record his second goal of the afternoon (Christopher Azevedo and Wolfgang Whalen earned assists on the goal). At that juncture, the Knights lead 3-2, and Berkeley's defense would take it from there, allowing no goals and just three Nittany Lions shots over the final 28:54 of action to nail down an impressive opening day victory.
Berkeley out-shot Penn State Beaver by a final count of 19-14 on the afternoon. The Nittany Lions committed 19 fouls on the day, while the Knights were whistled for 11.
Robert Parker – the Knights' long-time netminder, stopped five shots in earning the victory for his club.
Berkeley will look to go 2-0 for the second time in three seasons (they also did it in 2017), as the Knights will take on Penn State New Kensington on Saturday afternoon. Start-time is scheduled for noon.