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All Six Nittany Lions Advance To The FIFA U-20 World Cup Knockout Stage

Penn State women’s soccer was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, but the journey continues for the six players that missed the tournament run to compete in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.

Many of the Nittany Lions saw huge minutes for their teams — the United States and Germany — as both topped its groups to advance to the tournament knockout stage that is slated to begin on early Thursday morning.

Here’s a rundown of the action that’s happened at this edition of the tournament:

United States

The United States defeated New Zealand 3-1 and tied France and Ghana during Group C play. USA was tied for top of the group with France on five points, but went through in the first spot on the eighth tiebreaker — FIFA Fair Play Points (the United States had fewer yellow cards).

Four of the five Penn Staters competing for USA — Emily Ogle, Kaleigh Riehl, Ellie Jean, and Maddie Elliston — started in every game, playing all 90 minutes in each of the three contests. The United State back four is made up of three Nittany Lions, and it has allowed just two goals through the three games. Goalkeeper Rose Chandler is the only Nittany Lion who hasn’t seen time in the tournament.

Maddie Elliston made a crucial play against France in the second half of the opener, blocking a shot with the keeper out of net that surely would have made it 1-0 France, to preserve the shutout in a 0-0 draw.

The United States will face Mexico in the quarterfinals Friday at 1 a.m. Should it advance, the United States will play the winner of Spain and North Korea.


Freshman Laura Freigang started in all three of Germany’s Group D games and played in all but three minutes of the action. Germany won the three matches against Venezuela, Mexico, and South Korea, conceding just one goal and outscoring opponents by seven.

Germany will play France in the quarterfinals Friday at 4 a.m. Should it advance, Germany will face the winner of Japan and Brazil. For the Nittany Lions to face each other, the United States and Germany would both have to advance to the final.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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