Penn State Women’s Soccer Loses 1-0 To Northwestern

No. 20 Penn State women’s soccer was shut out 1-0 by Northwestern on Thursday night in Evanston, IL.

How It Happened

Despite leading in shots 7-1 in the first half, the Nittany Lions couldn’t get anything past Northwestern goalie Mackenzie Wood. The Wildcats played strong defense, not allowing many quality chances for Penn State.

Northwestern’s offense was virtually non-existent throughout the first half, but was able to capitalize on the one opportunity it got, as Kayla Sharples scored on a corner kick from Marisa Viggiano. The goal was the Wildcats’ only shot of the half and came just seconds before the intermission.

Penn State came out firing again in the early minutes of the second half. The Nittany Lions had five shots on net in the first few minutes of play and forced several corner kick opportunities. Senior midfielder Emily Ogle had three shots, including one from about 30 yards out that was just tipped away by Wood.

The Nittany Lions put pressure on the Northwestern defense throughout the second half, but the Wildcats continued to stand tall. Once they took the lead at the end of the first half, they were content to sit back and watch the seconds tick away. Northwestern was not very aggressive on offense, taking just one shot and sticking to its defensive mindset.

Coming into this match, the Wildcats had only given up four goals total, the lowest in the Big Ten. They lived up to their reputation Thursday, not allowing Penn State to get through their back line at all and forcing them to settle on shots from far out of the box.

Penn State finished the game leading Northwestern in shots by a margin of 17-2, but the Nittany Lions only had six shots on goal. The shots were split two apiece by Ogle and Charlotte Williams, along with forward Alina Ortega Jurado.

Player of the Match

Mackenzie Wood | Freshman | Goalie

Wood was the backbone of Northwestern’s defense and ensured that none of Penn State’s deep shots got by her, making six saves.

What’s Next?

Penn State (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten) will continue its Illinois road trip when it takes on the Fighting Illini (6-3) at 8 p.m. this Saturday.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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