Laura Freigang’s Golden Goal Leads No. 8 Penn State Past Illinois 1-0
Laura Freigang’s golden goal with 0:42 left in double overtime gave No. 8 Penn State women’s soccer a clutch 1-0 win over Illinois.
Sunday afternoon’s thriller at Jeffrey Field marked the Nittany Lions’ first double overtime victory since a 3-2 triumph against Northwestern in Sept. 2013.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) September 17, 2017
How It Happened
Despite a flurry of chances from Freigang and Charlotte Williams to open the match, neither Penn State nor Illinois (3-7) managed to break the stalemate. The Nittany Lions rifled off eight shots in the first half, but goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham had an answer each time, making a few spectacular saves to keep things scoreless heading into the break.
The defensive theme continued into the second half, as Penn State peppered the Illinois goal but still couldn’t find the back of the net. It would finish with a stunning 27-2 advantage in shots. With 13 minutes left in regulation, senior forward Frannie Crouse drew a controversial offsides call in the box that didn’t go over well on the Penn State sideline.
The scorching hot weather certainly played a factor Sunday afternoon, causing Dambach to make plenty of substitutions to keep legs fresh. Penn State earned back-to-back corner kicks with two minutes to play, but both chances were safely cleared down the field.
In double overtime, Freigang emerged as the hero following a barrage of close attempts. Maddie Elliston found the Oppenheim, Germany, native with a lofted pass 16 yards out. She played the ball off her chest, turned, and fired it home to clear the Penn State bench.
Player Of The Match
Laura Freigang | Sophomore | Midfielder/Forward
Who else would it be?
Penn State (6-2) travels to Iowa City for an 8 p.m. ET clash with the Hawkeyes next Friday. If you’ll be in town early for the football game, head over to support Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions.