No. 4 Women’s Soccer Drubs Wisconsin 4-0, Extends Shutout Streak To Four Games
The sun set over Happy Valley on Thursday night as the Penn State women’s soccer team was in the midst of a heated affair with Big Ten rival Wisconsin. The Badgers, 3-3-2 entering the game, couldn’t solve the fourth-ranked, 5-1-1 Nittany Lions as the home team came away with a 4-0 win despite leading in the shooting department 13-11.
How It Happened
It took 20 minutes to see the game’s third shot. Penn State began with the ball and,, foreshadowing an apparent low-scoring affair, couldn’t muster any significant offense. Much of the first half consisted of both offenses sending through balls past the defense, only to be contained by each team’s respective goalkeeper.
Penn State’s first legitimate scoring opportunities came 25 minutes into the game in the form of a blocked shot from inside the box, followed by a Frannie Crouse rocket that barely went wide of the top-left upper-90, along a two-on-one that a Wisconsin defender broke up just outside the box. With 17:09 to go in the half, Ellie Jean streaked down the sideline and centered the ball to Mallory Weber, who buried it on one touch into the far post. Penn State’s snowballing momentum finally resulted in a lead as the half was winding down. A minute later, Nittany Lion goalie Britt Eckertstrom sprawled out to keep her team in the lead.
Wisconsin started the second half with the ball, but the Lions didn’t play that way. A steal right out of the gate resulted in immediate offense, though it wasn’t capitalized on. The Badgers responded with some pressure of their own, but Eckerstrom stood tall in the net.
With 31 minutes remaining, freshman Charlotte Williams found a wide-open Megan Schafer in the box, who drilled a shot on the ground into the far corner. The 2-0 lead lasted for a while thanks to solid defense at both ends — that is, until Marissa Sheva snuck past the Badgers’ defense and fired home a point-blank shot. Two minutes later, a cross found Crouse in front of the net and she had no problem burying it to make the score 4-0. That would be the last marker of the game, and the No, 4 Nittany Lions marched off the field with their heads held high.
Player Of The Game
Frannie Crouse subbed out early in the second half and returned late, but she was instrumental in the Nittany Lions’ first-half onslaught and the late goal. As always, Weber, Schafer, Eckerstrom, and Raquel Rodriguez also all played great.
Tweet Of The Game
With the win, Penn State's shutout streak grows to 352 minutes and 52 seconds.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) September 18, 2015
Penn State is back in action Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 p.m. as the 5-1-2 Minnesota Golden Gophers continue Big Ten play. Minnesota played on Thursday during Penn State’s match, but its most recent match before that was a 9-1 drubbing against Omaha.