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Akron battles Penn State to 2-2 Draw

Published: October 18, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - University of Akron junior Stuart Holthusen's (Auckland, New Zealand) two-goal performance directed the Zips (7-4-2) to a 2-2 double-overtime draw at Penn State (6-6-2) in men's soccer action on Tuesday, Oct 18.

"Well that was an exciting game," Akron head coach Jared Embick commented. "More exciting than either coach wants. At the end of the day, we have to be pleased with that result. We showed some fight and toughness on the road to come from behind and tie. We were excellent in overtime. Stuart (Holthusen) scored his first goals on the season. There is a lot to build off of and a lot to correct, but any result on the road is always a positive. We have a big game at home Saturday and we're looking forward to playing in front of our fans again."

Holthusen garnered three of his team-high five shots in overtime for Akron, and narrowly missed connecting on a golden goal with a header in the 109th minute (108:25).

Holthusen finished the affair posting his team-best fourth career multi-goal tilt to direct the Zips to a 23-18 advantage in shots, including a 9-1 difference in overtime. Redshirt junior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England), senior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.), freshman Marcel Zajac (Mississauga, Ontario), senior Brad Ruhaak (Akron, Ohio) and freshman Jonathan Lewis (Plantation, Fla.) added four, three, three, two and two shots, respectively, to Akron's offensive attack. Dayonn Harris and Connor Maloney combined to post 12 shots for Penn State in the affair.

Sophomore goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) made six saves for the Zips, while his counterpart, Evan Finney also corralled six stops.

Holthusen's shot just 22 seconds into overtime was blocked, but the Zips kept attacking the Nittany Lions' defensive line and drew a foul just outside the 18-yard box at the 91:39 mark, where Najem struck a free kick that went just high of the mark.

Gainford and Holthusen each had shots slide wide at the 93:11 and 95:57 marks for Akron before freshman Nick Hinds (Plantation, Fla.) struck a shot in the 98th minute (97:42), one which was blocked.

The Zips outmuscled the Nittany Lions in the first overtime period registering a 5-0 margin in shots.

Zajac got off two shots in the second overtime stanza, including a 1v1 opportunity that was blocked at the 106:52 mark to deny the scoring chance.

Ruhaak unfurled a header off a corner kick from Lewis in the 108th minute (107:25) that was stopped for a save by Finney. Holthusen's header at the 108:25 mark proved to be the final scoring opportunity for either side.

The Nittany Lions opened the affair with a trio of strong looks on goal in the contest's initial 11 minutes of play, but were denied each time by saves from Lundt.

Holthusen garnered his first goal of the season at the 10:59 mark to give the Zips an early 1-0 advantage. Earning the assist on the tally was redshirt junior Pau Belana (Barcelona, Catalonia).

Gainford and Lewis followed registering shots on goal at the 19:20 and 22:52 marks, respectively, that were denied by saves from Finney.

Lundt again came up with a key save in the 28th minute (27:33) pushing back Maloney's shot attempt before thwarting Pierre Reedy at the 43:52 mark for his fifth save on the first half.

Penn State bettered Akron in shots in the initial stanza, 9-7, including 5-3 on goal.

Lewis placed a strike on frame in the 47th minute (46:52) that was corralled by Finney for a stop.

Ruhaak narrowly missed on a header off a Belana corner kick at the 51:02 mark.

Maloney netted the equalizer for the Nittany Lions in the 66th minute (65:24) to square the contest at one with his fifth goal of the season off an assist from Harris.

Maloney gave Penn State a 2-1 lead on the strength of his sixth tally of the season at the 74:30 mark, as he slotted in a ball past Lundt off of a defensive deflection.

Holthusen recorded his second tally of the evening in the 81st minute (80:40) to level to score at two, heading in a cross from the corner of the box off the foot of Hinds.

The Zips bettered the Nittany Lions in shots on goal over the final 45 minutes of regulation, 4-3, despite being outshot overall, 9-7.

Akron returns to action hosting West Virginia in a 7:30 p.m. tilt on Saturday, Oct. 22, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

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