Penn State Women’s Soccer Knocks Off Professional Team
Penn State women’s soccer has notched some impressive results over the past few years — securing its first-ever national championship in 2015, taking home the Big Ten Tournament title in 2017, and consistently competing with the best of the best in college soccer.
The Nittany Lions pulled off another solid feat over the weekend, taking down National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Sky Blue FC Saturday night. Comprised of a professional roster of some of the world’s elite talent, including Penn State legend Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd (although she didn’t play), the New Jersey-based franchise failed to find the back of the net in its preseason opener.
It was Penn State’s rising redshirt junior Ellie Jean who finally broke the deadlock at the Sportika Sports Complex in the 73rd minute. The outside back scored on a scramble in the box to notch the match’s only goal and secure the upset.
With little top-level competition to face off against as they enter preseason in late winter, it’s not uncommon for NWSL clubs just getting back into the groove of things to schedule games against top college teams. It’s also just the beginning of the slate for clubs that still have to cut their rosters down prior to the start of the season, so a few players who won’t end up making the final squad play in these games.
Still, Saturday’s win is an impressive feat for the Nittany Lions. Of the 22 players that played in the game for Sky Blue FC, 15 were league veterans and three had even earned call ups to the senior-level U.S. women’s national team.