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Strong Attacking Performance Leads Penn State Women’s Soccer To 3-1 Win Over Long Beach State

Penn State women’s soccer (2-1-0) began a difficult stretch of away games with a 3-1 over Long Beach State (0-2-0) in California Friday evening.

Goals from Ally Schlegel, Sam Coffey, and Kerry Abello and a solid performance from Penn State’s backline led the No. 7 Nittany Lions to their first away win of the season and a second consecutive victory.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach seems to have settled on a consistent starting lineup this season, making only a few small changes to the XI that played well against Stanford and Hofstra.

Both Schlegel and Frankie Tagliaferri started for the Nittany Lions Friday, and the decision to pair the two forwards was rewarded when the former, a redshirt sophomore, opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

Freshman Payton Linnehan and Tagliaferri earned the assist on Schlegel’s strike, and the Nittany Lions were in full control. Dambach’s squad notched five corners within the first 20 minutes of the match, but were unable to double their lead before halftime.

Kerry Abello kicked off the second half with a goal in the 48th minute. She latched onto a pass from Coffey with a run from the wing, dribbled past 49ers goalkeeper Alemany Sanchez, and slotted the ball into the net to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead.

Five minutes later, Coffey tacked the winner onto the Nittany Lions’ performance, picking up a saved Linnehan shot and calmly volleying the ball past Sanchez.

Penn State’s defense remained solid throughout the match, with Amanda Dennis making a total of four saves to Sanchez’s six. But Long Beach remained dangerous in the attacking third, hitting the post in the 63rd minute. The 49ers shattered Penn State’s shutout in the 86th minute, when Aleea Caceres beat Sara Valenti.

Despite this momentary lapse in concentration, The Nittany Lions kept Long Beach at bay for the rest of the match finished with a 3-1 win.

Player of the Match

Payton Linnehan| Freshman|Winger

Linnehan and the other members of her top-ranked recruiting class have been outstanding for the Nittany Lions so far this season. The winger seems to be adjusting well to the collegiate game, is confident on the ball, and plays with exceptional flair. Though she hasn’t notched her first goal for Penn State, her assist on Friday was likely the first of many throughout her Penn State career.

What’s Next?

Penn State faces Loyola Marymount University (0-2-1) this Sunday, September 1 at 4 p.m. in Los Angeles.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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