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Women’s Soccer Moves On In B1G Tournament With 3-1 Win Over Illinois

The Big Ten Tournament got underway on Sunday, headlined by the No. 1 seed facing off with the No. 8 seed, Illinois. A day after the schools’ football teams played a one-sided affair in favor of the Nittany Lions, Penn State’s women’s soccer team made sure the Illini wouldn’t salvage the weekend. The Nittany Lions won 3-1 thanks to goals from Driesse, Weber, and Crouse.

How It Happened

Possession was the story of the first half for Penn State, as the nation’s third-ranked team took it to the Fighting Illini almost non-stop for the game’s first 27 minutes, piling up attempts while stifling Illinois’ counter-attacks. At the 27-minute mark of the first half, the offense finally broke through as unselfish play gave Nickolette Driesse a one-on-one chance with the goalie.

Six minutes later, Mallory Weber continued her electric offensive season by finishing off a play that started on a corner kick to double her team’s lead. Finally, with 4:55 left in the first half, Frannie Crouse found herself with the ball on her foot down low and increased the Nittany Lions’ lead to 3-0 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same, at least concerning possession. Despite Head Coach Erica Walsh opting to sub players in and out to keep legs fresh for a deep tournament run, her team was still able to control the game. Illinois, despite going for more than half of the half without a shot, finally found the scoreboard with 13:33 to play on a one-touch tap-in in front of the net. That concluded scoring as Penn State moved on in the tournament with a 3-1 win.

Player Of The Game

The entire back line for Penn State played shut-down defense. Although Illinois broke up the shutout late, it spent most of the game struggling to get any offense going.

What’s Next?

Penn State will face Michigan in the second round of the tournament this Friday at Jeffrey Field, time to be announced.

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About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.

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