UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Redshirt junior Eli Dennis (Easton, Md.) nodded home his first career goal at Jeffrey Field to lead the Penn State men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory against Central Connecticut Sunday night. The Nittany Lions have earned back-to-back shutouts to open the season for the second time in three years.
After amassing 20 shots throughout the match, the breakthrough finally came for Penn State (2-0-0) with 10 minutes to play as Connor Maloney (Harrisburg, Pa.) swung a right-footed cross to the back post. Dennis made a perfect run to calmly head the ball past goalkeeper Rafal Krauze. Dennis had a part in both game-winning goals for Penn State this weekend, totaling three points.
The Nittany Lion defensive backline was stellar throughout the night, as central defenders Martin Seiler (Stuttgart, Germany) and Akil Howard (Queens, N.Y.) held Central Connecticut (0-2-0) from any significant chances. Goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Atlanta, Ga.) needed just one save to earn his 17th career shutout in his 32nd start.
Similar to Penn State's season-opening game against Radford, the home side gained its offensive rhythm in the second half. Seiler got the action going with a corner kick header that sailed just wide of net, before Grant Warming (Omaha, Neb.) fired a laser volley off target in the 56th minute.
Following Dennis' goal, Penn State did well to control possession over the final 10 minutes and secure the clean sheet.
The Nittany Lions have the week off before returning to action Friday as they travel to Rutgers for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.
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