Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Michigan State 5-1 In Dominant Home Performance

No. 23 Penn State women’s soccer (5-4-1) defeated Michigan State (7-2-1) at Jeffrey Field Sunday in a dominant comeback performance.

The Nittany Lions came out desperate to find a win after a three game losing streak that began with an overtime loss to Oklahoma State. The Penn State defense found its confidence again and allowed only two shots on goal the entire match. The Nittany Lions’ attack made its runs count, giving it five goals to a lackluster Michigan State’s one.

How It Happened

Penn State began Sunday’s match energetically in the attacking third. But in the sixth minute of the match, there was a penalty called on the Nittany Lions’ Ellie Jean after she pulled down a Michigan State attacker in the penalty area. The Spartans’ Danielle Stephan took the kick, which snuck past Amanda Dennis and gave Michigan State a 1-0 lead.

Penn State came back by taking the ball to Michigan territory. Frankie Tagliaferri received possession and passed to Ally Schlegel, who was just inside the penalty area with no one marking her, but she stumbled and Spartan goalkeeper Lauren Kozal claimed the ball comfortably.

Maddie Myers was able to outplay the Spartan defense and take a high and powerful shot that Kozal tipped over the crossbar in the 14th minute.

Tagliaferri back heeled a pass to Schlegel in the penalty area in the 23rd minute, and the forward slotted a cool finish inside the far post to equalize for the Nittany Lions and score her seventh goal of the season.

Schlegel and Tagliaferri created several other opportunities throughout the first half, but Penn State wouldn’t break the deadlock until the end of the half. In the 45th minute, Penn State’s true freshman Payton Linnehan earned her first collegiate goal. After receiving a pass from Tagliaferri, she slipped a shot past Kozal, giving Penn State a 2-1 as the halftime break began.

After Penn State collected the ball in the Spartan half following the second half kickoff, Sam Coffey picked it up inside the box and curled a left-footed shot into the top corner, giving the Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead.

Tagliaferri notched her third assist in the 59th minute by finding Abello, took a shot from the line of the box that flew past a diving Kozal and into the corner of the net.

Clearly feeling the pressure to get a goal back by the 75th minute, the Spartans were trying to push up the field. However, they gained no traction going forward.

True freshman Devon Olive latched onto a cross from Leah Scarpelli and curled an outside-of-the-foot shot towards the bottom corner that trickled past Kozal to give Penn State a 5-1 lead as the half wore on.

Michigan State, still desperate, continued to push up the field but were met by the Penn State defense, who continued to allow almost nothing through. Penn State retained possession well and finished the match professionally, securing a 5-1 victory and a first conference win.

Player of the Match

Payton Linnehan|Freshman|Midfielder

The true freshman found the back of the net for the first time. She showed her typical determination throughout the match, producing on offense and working hard on defense. Additionally, she moved many plays forward and ran the ball into the box on multiple occasions, allowing for other Penn State advances.

What’s Next?

Penn State heads to Minneapolis to face University of Minnesota (1-6-2) Friday, September 27 at 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Riley Davies

Riley is a junior studying Public Relations, Digital Media Trends and Analytics, and Psychology from Orange County, CA. You understandably may be questioning why she is at Penn State and to be quite frank, so is she. She loves dogs, Creamery lemonade, and going to Trader Joe's. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rileyydavies for retweets of dogs.

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