Women’s Soccer Bounced From NCAA Tournament 3-0 By Virginia

Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions won’t defend their national championship, as they fell to No. 3 seed Virginia 3-0 Friday morning on a brown pitch at Georgetown’s Shaw Field.

How It Happened

Despite catching fire in a 6-0 blowout win over Bucknell at home last Friday, Penn State (12-5-4, 7-1-3 Big Ten) couldn’t get anything going offensively in D.C. It didn’t take long for the Cavaliers, who topped Monmouth 4-1, to get on the board. Just :55 seconds into this NCAA second-round showdown, senior Meghan Cox headed in a quick goal off the assist from ACC Offensive Player of the Year Alexis Shaffer. Shaffer’s older sister Ashley played for the Hoyas on the same field a few years ago. The Nittany Lions tried to play catch-up during the first half, but sophomore midfielder Betsy Brandon made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute to give Virginia (15-4-2, 6-2-2 ACC) a comfortable lead.

Head coach Steve Swanson, who leads the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team, and the Cavaliers would head into the half holding onto that two-goal margin. In her final collegiate match, senior Nickolette Driesse picked up a yellow card in the 48th minute. Moments later, freshman goalkeeper Amanda Dennis went down hard as Cox headed another one into the net, but it was negated by an offside call. The San Diego native showed her toughness by popping back up and finishing out the match. Taylor Ziemer continued her outstanding freshman campaign by beating Dennis for her eighth goal early in the 75th minute to make it 3-0 Cavaliers.

Junior Frannie Crouse had an excellent opportunity in the 78th minute, but could only watch as her shot sailed high over the crossbar. A few minutes later, Charlotte Williams was on the receiving end of a controversial no-call, as the midfielder was taken down from behind in the box but the refs didn’t blow the whistle. Penn State fought valiantly but, in the end, the Cavaliers were simply too dominant. They’ll await the winner of Rutgers and Georgetown, who are scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start, in the Sweet 16 this Sunday at noon.

Player Of The Match

Meghan Cox | Senior | Defender/Midfielder

The Springfield, Va., native provided the eventual game-winner less than a minute into the match for her second goal of the season.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will head into the offseason as they prepare for a successful 2017.

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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