White Oak, Pa. - The Penn State Greater Allegheny men's soccer team close their 2014-15 regular season with a 5-2 win over Penn State Mont Alto, earning themselves their first ever bid to the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs.
Greater Allegheny was the first to answer on the board, as sophomore Manoj Sharma (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) controlled a ball from freshman midfielder Marin Marina (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) and put it in the back of the net, GA 1-0.
In the 35th minute of the first half, freshman outside midfielder Bimal Bhattarai (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) hammered a pass across Sharma who let the ball go to Marina, who had the better shot. Marina hit the back of the net with ease as he moved Greater Allegheny up to a 2-0 lead to head into halftime.
Mont Alto got on the board just before the 60th minute of action. With the tally at 2-1. Marina clobbered a ball from sophomore midfielder Gerardo Diaz (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico/Immaculate Concepcion Academy) outside of the 18, moving Greater Allegheny ahead 3-1. Two minutes later, Marina gathered a pass from Bhattarai, making a smart move around the last defender and advancing Greater Allegheny ahead 4-1 with less than 22 minutes left to play.
Sophomore midfidler Bengaly Diane (New Jersey/James J. Ferris) served a beautiful leading pass to Sharma, as he went 1v1 with the goalie, placing the ball just right of his hands and notching the final tally from the Greater Allegheny offense, polishing off their mark at five. Mont Alto managed another in the 81st minute, but was just not enough to make the comeback on the home team.
Freshman goalkeeper Alex Wood (Rochville, Md./St. John's College) saw twelve shots, seven of them being on goal, saving five. The GA offense generated 16 shots, ten being on target.
With the win, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's soccer (6-7-2, 4-3-2 PSUAC) team solidified their first ever Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff appearance. On Wednesday, the men are set to travel to Penn State Beaver for the first round. Kick-off has yet to be determined.