No. 4 Women’s Soccer Falls To Minnesota At Home
Fans were greeted with a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field as the No. 4 Penn State women’s soccer team (6-1-1) took on Minnesota (6-1-2) in their second game of Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers put up an impressive clean sheet against the Nittany Lions on their way to a 1-0 upset.
How It Happened
During the first 30 minutes, both sides struggled to sustain any offensive momentum as each attack by the Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers was thwarted by some steady defensive play. However, Minnesota struck 32 minutes into the contest after a clash in front of the Penn State net was eventually put away by Simone Kolander. The goal ended the Nittany Lions’ outstanding shutout streak at 352 minutes.
Five minutes before the half, Penn State senior forward/midfielder Raquel Rodriguez unloaded an absolute rocket from just outside the box, but the ball ricocheted off the crossbar and out of play. As the contest wore on, the Nittany Lions continued to create opportunities here and there, but couldn’t manage to finish any of them off. Minnesota held a 7-4 edge in terms of shots on goal in the first half, while also stifling the Nittany Lions with some shutdown defense from the back line and goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs throughout.
Penn State defender Brittany Basinger made a crucial deflection right in front of goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom five minutes into the second half, but the Nittany Lions struggled to keep the ball in the attacking third. Forwards Mallory Weber and Frannie Crouse nearly capped a pair of beautiful shots within a couple minutes of each other, but neither was able to finish. Weber’s one-timer sailed wide left, while Crouse ripped one from deep outside the box only to hit the crossbar.
The Nittany Lions turned up the tempo offensively in desperate search of a goal, but could only watch as multiple chances slipped between their grasp on consecutive crosses and corner kicks that barely missed. In fact, PSU held a 6-5 shot advantage in the second half, but couldn’t capitalize. Penn State fell to 6-2-1 on the season, while Minnesota improved to 7-1-2 thanks to a statement victory on the road.
Player Of The Game
Raquel Rodriguez made the most of her 76 minutes on the pitch by firing off three shots (one on goal), nearly catapulting the Nittany Lions back into the game on multiple occasions.
Erica Walsh’s Nittany Lions will travel to Lincoln for a 7:00 p.m CT tilt with 4-3-1 Nebraska this coming Friday, Sept. 25. The Cornhuskers are coming off a scoreless tie with Michigan State Sunday.
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